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/ L 

Uwe Steinmueller - Juergen Gulbins 



for Photographers 

Exhibition Quality Prints with Inkjet Printers 

Fine Art Printing for Photographers 

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Fine Art Printing for 

Exhibition Quality Prints with Inkjet Printers 

2 nd Edition 

Uwe Steinmueller and Juergen Gulbins 


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Uwe Steinmueller, 
Juergen Gulbins, 

Editor: Jimi DeRouen 

Copy editor: Deborah Cooper, James Johnson 

Layout and Type: Juergen Gulbins 

Cover Design: Helmut Kraus, 

Cover Photo: Uwe Steinmueller 

Printer: Friesens Corporation, Altona, Canada 

Printed in Canada 

ISBN-13 978-1-933952-31-4 

2 nd Edition (2 nd printing, August 2009) 

© 2007, 2008, 2009 by Rocky Nook Inc. 

26 West Mission Street Ste 3 

Santa Barbara, CA 93101 

First published under the title "Fine Art Printing fur Fotografen: Hochwertige Fotodrucke mit Inkjet-Druckern" 
© dpunkt.verlag GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 
Steinmueller, Uwe. 

[Fine art printing fur Fotografen. English] 

Fine art printing for photographers : exhibition quality prints with inkjet printers / 
Uwe Steinmueller and Juergen Gulbins. — 2 nd ed. 

p. cm. 
Includes index. 

ISBN 978-1-933952-31-4 (alk. paper) 

1. Photography — Digital techniques. 2. Photography, Artistic. 3. Ink-jet printing. 
I. Gulbins, Jiirgen. II. Title. 
TR267.S7415 2008 

775— dc22 


Distributed by O'Reilly Media 
1005 Gravenstein Highway North 
Sebastopol, CA 95472 

All product names and services identified throughout this book are trademarks or registered trademarks 
of their respective companies. They are used throughout this book in editorial fashion only and for the 
benefit of such companies. No such uses, or the use of any trade name, is intended to convey endorsement 
or other affiliation with the book. 

No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilized in any form, 
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and 
retrieval system, without written permission of the copyright owner. 

This book is printed on acid-free paper. 

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Foreword by Mac Holbert (Nash Editions) 




Printing Techniques 


Basic Printing Techniques 

How Many Pixels or Dots Per Inch Do You Really Need? 


Offset Printing 


Laser Printers 


Dye-Sublimation Printers 


LightJet® Printing (Digital Photo Print) 


Inkjet Printing 

Inkjet Technology 

Droplet Size 

Printer Resolution 

Number of Inks 

Type of Inks 


Other Printing Techniques 


How to Pick Your Fine Art Printer 








Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

Print Permanence 

Light as a Factor of Print Permanence 

Temperature Influencing "Dark Fading" 


Gases and Their Influence on Print Permanence 

Paper Additives 

How to Improve the Permanence of Your Prints 


Dye-Based Inks 

Pigmented Inks 


Paper Characteristics 

Paper Ingredients 

Whiteness and Brightness 

Paper Coating 

Paper Surface - Paper Finish 




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Paper Size 


Matching Inkjet Technology, Subject, Paper, and Ink 


Some More Characteristics 


Other Materials 


Paper Handling 



Color Management for Printing 



Understanding Different Color Models 


RGB Color Model 


Lab Color Model 


CMYK Color Model 


Grayscale Mode 


HSB/HSL Color Model 


Color Spaces 



Understanding Color Management 


Why You Need to Understand Color Management 


ICC Profiles 


What is a Color Management System? 


Color Working Spaces 



Visualization of Color Spaces 



Color Space Mapping 



Creating Device Profiles 


Camera Profiles 


Printer Profiles 



Profiling Your Monitor 


Calibration by Eye 


Hardware-Based Calibration 


Calibration Settings 


Calibrating and Profiling Using Eye-One Display i 



Photoshop Color-Management Settings 



Profiles for Your Printer 


Profiling Your Printer 


Printer Profiling Using Eye-One Photo 



Installing and Uninstalling Profiles 



Finding a Printer's Black Point and White Point 






Soft-Proofing and Gamut Warning 



Metamerism and Bronzing 


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Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Basic Printing Workflow 
Tuning Tonality 

Global Tonality Tuning 

Local Tonality Tuning 

Corrections Related to Certain Tonality Ranges 

(Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights) 

Painting Techniques (Mainly Dodge and Burn) 

Dodge and Burn Using Layers 

Tuning Colors 

Selective Saturation Improvements 

More Saturation and Contrast Tricks 

Variation with "Soft Light" 

Removing Blue Shadow Casts 

"Ring Around" and Variations 

Ring Around 

Using Variations 

Local Contrast Enhancement 

Further Preparations for Printing 

















Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 133 

Printer Installation 1 34 

Printer Adjustments 136 

General Driver Tasks and Settings 137 

Settings that Influence Print Quality 137 

More Settings 139 

Summarizing the Relevant Steps for the Actual Printing 1 41 

Printing from Client Software (Windows) 1 43 

Page and Printer Setup 143 

Printing from Photoshop CS1 or CS2 144 

Print Dialog with Photoshop CS3 145 

Print Driver Dialog in Windows 1 47 

Printer Driver Settings in Mac OS X 151 

Printing from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1 56 

Printing Using a Printer Plug-in 1 59 

Test Prints 162 

Print Quality Related Issues 1 63 

Some More Recommendations for Printing 1 64 

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Printing Packages and RIPs 



What is a RIP? 


Why Use a RIP? 



Printing Using a Printing Package 





Printing Using a RIP 




ImagePrint by Colorbyte Software 


EFI Designer Edition 



Black-and-White Prints 



Workflow for Black-and-White Prints 



From Color to Black-and-White 


Black-and-White Conversion Using the Channel Mixer 


Using "Black & White" of Photoshop CS3 



Printers with Black-and-White-Enabled Drivers 


Black-and-White Prints with Epson UltraChrome K3 Printers 


Black-and-White Prints with HP PhotoSmart 8750/8450 



Special Software (RIPs) for Black-and-White Printing 


Colorbyte's ImagePrint 




Other Solutions 



Soft-Proofing for Black-and-White Prints 



Papers for Black-and-White Prints 



Image Evaluation and Presenting Fine Art Prints 



Critical Image Inspection 


Control Tools 



Presentation Options 



Portfolio Binders 





True Matting 


Principles of the Matting Process 


A Mat-Cutting Sample Session 


Faux Matting 



Framing a Print 



Coating a Print 



Displaying a Print in True Light 



Storing Prints 


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A Some Fine Art Printers 221 

A.i General Points on Fine Art Printers 222 

Inks for Black-and-White Prints 222 

Photo Black and Matte Black Simultaneously On-line 222 

Ink Cartridge Volume 223 

Print Plug-ins 223 

Printer Linearization and Calibration 223 

Ways to Prevent Nozzle Clogging 224 

Printer Life Cycles 225 

A.2 Epson Fine Art Printers 227 

Epson Stylus Photo R800 / R1 800 228 

Epson Stylus Photo R1 900 228 
Epson Stylus Photo R2400 / Pro 4800 / Pro 7800 / Pro 9800 232 

Epson Stylus Pro 3800 233 

Epson Stylus Pro 4880 / 7880 / 9880 234 

Epson Stylus Pro 11880 235 

A.3 Canon's Fine Art Printers 236 

Canon PIXMA Pro9500 237 

Canon imagePROGRAF iPFsioo/ 6100 238 

Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8i 00 / 91 00 245 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 246 

HP PhotoSmart Pro B91 80 247 

HP DesignJet Z3 100 Photo 254 

B Papers for Fine Art Printing 

B.i Digital Fine Art Papers 

Some Notes on OBAs 
B.2 Some Examples of Fine Art Papers 

Matte Papers 

Satin/Glossy Coated Rag Papers 

High-Gloss Papers 
B.3 A New Generation of Fiber-based and Baryt Papers 
B.4 Specialty Papers and Canvas 
B.5 Fine Art Papers Well Suited for Black-and-White Prints 

A Note on Paper Grammage and PaperThickness 

C Glossary and Acronyms 

D Resources 

D.i Recommended Books 

D.2 Organizations and Institutes 

D.3 Useful Resources on the Internet 



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Kamera: Nikon D2X 

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A brief history 

Inkjet printers have been around for more than 20 years, yet digital 
inkjet printing technology has only come of age in the past few years. 
The earliest consumer models lacked the technology and sophistication 
to print photographs similar in quality to common silver-halogenid 
prints (stereotypical photos printed on photographic paper), developed 
from film negatives or slides. Worse, inkjet prints lacked the lightfastness 
of silver-halogenid prints. For most users, the digital inkjet printers that 
delivered the desired image quality, e.g. Iris prints, were, unfortunately, 
rarely affordable. This economic obstacle has changed dramatically in the 
last few years, with the rise of digital photography. Thus, there is now a 
sizeable market for a new breed of inkjet printers from seasoned manu- 
facturers like Epson, HP, Canon, Lexmark and Dell, among other newer 

Among the first Super B printers, suitable for both fine art print- 
ing and the budget of a broad range of buyers, were the Epson P2000 
andPnoo (P2100 in Europe). The breakthrough of this line was based 
on quality, affordable price, and an Ultrachrome ink set. 

Size matters 

Many photographs impress viewers only when presented at an optimum 
viewing size; for example, the typical pocket-size 4 x 6 format is clearly 
unsuitable as a pleasing means of displaying a beautiful print. For most 
good shots, even the larger Letter, Legal and A4 sizes often leave viewers 
wanting more. Enter the A^+ZSuper B prints, which measure an impres- 
sive 13 x 19 inches. In 2005, there was an explosion in the use of these 
medium- and large-format prints, an impressive statistic that further in 
2006 and 2007 {and beyond) increased when a number of new fine art 
printers were introduced by HP, Canon, and Epson. 

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xii Preface 

For some photographs, it is advisable to produce even larger prints. Printer 
manufacturers like Epson, HP and Canon market printers that promise 
high-quality prints up to 64 inches wide. There are many other large -format 
printer manufacturers out there, like Encad, Oce, Mutoh, and Roland, yet 
they are not designed for true, fine art printing. For this reason, we chose 
to focus on the moderately sized prints and printers, typically from Letter/ 
A4 to C/A2. Most of the lessons of fine art printing, however, can be applied 
to both smaller and larger prints and printers. 

Fine Art Printing is a Sensuous Endeavor 

The highly technical nature of fine art printing should not overshadow its 
ability to awaken the senses. As the term "fine art printing" expresses, it is 
the printing of art in a highly artistic fashion. It allows you to project onto 
paper an image created with a simple digital or film camera, after enhanc- 
ing the image with image-manipulation software to more accurately rep- 
resent the original. Today's fine art printing, using a good digital inkjet 
printer, allows you to produce a quality of equal or higher value than that 
of traditional silver-halogenid prints, and clearly surpasses the quality of 
offset or rotogravure printing. When performed optimally, your printing 
can achieve a richer color gamut and finer tonal gradations than with tra- 
ditional book- and magazine-printing techniques. 

Experiment ... and Discover! 

As with other genres of art, without proper knowledge and practical expe- 
rience, the resulting print may not be as accurate as the image on your 
computer monitor, so you may have to try several different techniques, 
papers, paper sizes, borders, and matte styles. With careful practice, you 
will hopefully be on your way to producing museum- quality work with 
less effort than you had previously dreamed. 

Though most prints are either displayed in frames behind glass or 
Plexiglas, often to reduce glare, this has the effect of reducing the visual 
appeal of the print and the fine art paper on which it is printed. Therefore, 
it is important to experiment with different types of fine art paper to 
achieve the desired result. Paper with a certain texture and tactile essence 
can be very sensuous indeed, so take your time to find the paper that best 
suits your taste and needs and to achieve the result you like. 

A printing paper's color, surface, texture, and gloss will determine the 
kind of print you will produce, and must be carefully chosen to match the 
feeling you wish to project. An architectural shot may require a different 
printing paper than a photograph of nature or a landscape. A black-and- 
white print calls for a certain type of paper that would be unsuitable to a 
full- color shot. A certain print displayed without glass or Plexiglas will 
appear entirely different than one framed behind these types of transpar- 
ent coverings. 

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Kamera: Nikon D2X 

Both authors use digital cameras - Uwe Steinmueller as a professional and 
Juergen Gulbins as a serious amateur. They were both led to fine art printing 
by the desire to control their workflow from start to finish, from the shooting 
of photos to the finished print. Printing with a fine art printer for them, is not 
a simple, tiresome task, but the final step , and a very important one - toward 
producing a pleasing image. 

Planning for printing and printing itself takes time, but, in most cases, 
only a perfect, finished print gives full value to a good shot. Normally, only 
a few of all the photos you take will make it into a perfect, fine art print, but 
in many cases, this print will be the crowning glory of your photographic 
shooting. With the techniques shown in this book (together with others books 
we have published), you should be in complete control from start to finish. 

We hope that the control of this process and the creative tasks along the 
way give you the same satisfaction and relaxation we found while doing it. 
Producing a satisfying print from your work has similarities to Christmas: 
the work is finished, and the present is unwrapped. You must still find a place 
to keep or present it, a place where it can be enjoyed for years to come. 

Matting, framing, and hanging of prints 
is its own subject, and we go into it 
only briefly. We do, however, give some 
advice on how to keep and store your 


Thanks to our many influencers and friends like Bill Attkinson, Jim Collum, 
Charles Cramer, Brad Hinkel, Mac Holbert and Ben Willmore. 

Uwe Steinmueller, San Jose (California) 
Juergen Gulbins, Keltern (Germany) 

March 2008 

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Read our brief introduction to Nash 

Editions in our Printing Insights #22: "Digital 

Printmaking & Printmakers" at 

pi 022/ f essay. html 

Foreword by Mac Holbert (Nash Editions) 

In 1989 my partner, Graham Nash, and I embarked on a search for a way to 
save a large body of his photographic work. The original negatives had been 
lost while being shipped from Los Angeles to Graham's home in San 
Francisco. All that was left was a box of "jumbo" contact sheets. Graham 
had been offered a show at the Parco Galleries in Tokyo and without his 
negatives he was unable to put together an exhibit. In solving the "prob- 
lem" we ended up creating a method and a studio that has been recognized 
by many as the first fine art digital photography studio in the world. With 
the help of our friends, David Coons and Charles Wehrenberg, Jack 
Duganne and I experimented with hardware and software and by 1991 had 
developed a product that we felt was ready for the world. As it turned out 
we still had much to learn. 

The only source of information in those days was from the few indi- 
viduals that were involved in the technology. When I opened the door to 
Nash Editions in July of 1991, 1 had basic working knowledge of word pro- 
cessing and database management but I didn't have a clue what the differ- 
ence was between a pixel and a raster. I asked a lot of questions, nurtured 
a lot of friendships and slowly I began to develop an overview of image 
processing and image output. By the mid 1990's the Internet had become 
an excellent source of information exchange and I began to frequent the 
online forums that focused on imaging and printing. I can't remember 
specifically when I first saw the name Uwe Steinmueller but I believe it was 
either 2000 or 2001. Suddenly I noticed his name appearing everywhere. 
Not only was he in quest of information but he was, more importantly, 
sharing it with anyone and everyone who would listen. 

I finally got to meet Uwe in 2003 when he and his wife Bettina visited 
my studio. Their enthusiasm for the digital photography revolution was 
obvious. I have seen many "experts" come and go over the past 16 years. 
Uwe's expertise and his openness have gained him a high level of respect 
and admiration in the evolving world of digital photography. 

I am very impressed with the book you are about to read. It's informa- 
tion like this that has helped to raise the quality of digital output and reduce 
the traditional art world's resistance to the use of digital tools in art. It is a 
book written by someone who KNOWS fine art digital printmaking. Uwe's 
style is concise and to the point. This comprehensive and complete guide 
to fine art digital printmaking should be included in the library of anyone 
who is serious about making fine art digital prints. 

I only wish that all this excellent information had been available to me 
back in 1989 when I embarked on my digital journey. The hours I wasted 
. . . The ink and paper I wasted . . . The late nights . . .The cold suppers . . . 

Mac Holbert 

April 2006 

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Preface xv 

New in Our Second Edition 

This is our second edition of this book. Since our first edition in 2006 quite 
a few new printers suitable for fine art prints were introduced by HP, Epson 
and Canon, some of them outdating printers that we mentioned in our first 
edition. We try to cover these new printers in this book. Quite a few new 
fine art papers came to the market and we will cover them in the current 
issue too. We also found good ways to determine how much brighteners are 
used in a specific paper and we will give you some hints on this as well. 

New printers and papers will continue to come up. To facilitate the 
update in these, we slightly changed the scheme of the book. The actual 
practical printing that is described in chapter 5 now merely serves as an 
example. We off-loaded details on specific printers to appendix A, where 
you will find a section for each specific printer or printer line. Additionally, 
you will find updates on these printers on Uwe's Internet site as soon as we 
are able to lay hands on new printer models and we have had the opportu- 
nity to test new papers. So, for updates, have a glance at that site from time 
to time at: 

New functions have appeared in applications described in our first edition; 
also new applications and filters have come to the market, which are 
described in this second edition. Some of the dialogs of Photoshop where 
updated when Photoshop CS3 was introduced. As the minor changes of the 
interface were not relevant for our task here, we did not update all screen- 
shots - please accepts our apologies for this. 

As we both work on Mac OS X as well as Windows, you will find 
screenshots from both platforms. As the interface and the handling of 
Photoshop and most other applications are almost identical on both plat- 
forms, this should not confuse you. When using keyboard shortcuts, in 
most cases we will specify both versions - where not, simply substitute the 
Windows [Ctrl] key by the Mac (B) key and the Windows (Alt) key by the @ 
key when working with Mac OS X (and vice versa). stands for the Shift 
key. [5]- [ctrll -[A] implies, that you have to press all these keys simultane- 

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Camera: Nikon D2X 

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Printing Techniques 

There are various methods of printing your own photo- 
graphs. We only address one method in detail - printing 
using inkjet printers. In this chapter, we take a glance at 
different printing methods and discuss which are good and 
why. Most are not recommended for fine art printing. 

The special focus of this chapter - and the general focus 
of the entire book - is fine art printing and our reader is 
assumed to be the ambitious amateur, as well as the profes- 
sional photographer. There are many reasonably good 
books on prepress work and commercial printing of books, 
magazines, brochures, or posters using offset printing, silk- 
screen printing, rotogravure or intaglio printing. We do not 
cover these methods, as they are either too complicated or 
too cost-intensive for the reader we target. Nor do they 
deliver the kind of quality that may be achieved with 
today s photo inkjet printers. 

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1 Printing Techniques 

1 .1 Basic Printing Techniques 

A 17" display is diagonally roughly 77 inches 

In Europe, "pixel per centimeter" (ppc) is used 
often instead ofppi. 

The Journey from a Pixel to a Printed Point 

In image processing, there are several terms used with a similar meaning, 
often used interchangeably for image and print resolution: dpi {dots per 
inch), ppi {pixel (or points) per inch), and lpi {lines per inch). Apart from this, 
the resolution of an image is stated by its dimensions in pixels or in inches 
(at a certain ppi or dpi resolution). So let's try to clean-up this mess: 

When an image is captured by a camera or scanner, the result is a digital 
image consisting of an array (rows) of separate picture elements (called pix- 
els). This array has a horizontal and vertical dimension. The horizontal size 
is defined by the number of pixels in a single row (say 1,280) and the number 
of rows (say 1,024), giving the image a horizontal orientation. That picture 
would have a "resolution" of "1,024 x 1,280 pixels" (yes, some years ago, 
there were digital cameras around with such a low resolution). 

This is not a physical size yet. You could, for example, display this 
image on a 17" display (it would comfortably fill most such displays with 
each pixel of the image representing one pixel of the LCD monitor). It 
would probably have a display dimension of roughly 13.3 by 10.6 inches/ If 
you display this same image on a 19" monitor, its displayed size would be 
approximately 14.8 by 11.9 inches. 

The size of the image displayed is dependent on the number of pixels 
the monitor displays per inch. The "pixel per inch" resolutions (ppi) of 
monitors vary, and are usually in the range of 72 ppi to 120 ppi (the latter, 
larger 21" monitors). In most cases, however, with monitors the resolution 
is given as the number ofpixels horizontally and vertically (e. g. 1,024 x 1,280 
or 1,280 x 1,600). So the "size" of an image very much depends on how 
many pixels are displayed per inch. Thus, we come to a resolution given in 
pixels per inch' or ppi for short. 

With LCD monitors, their ppi resolution is fixed and can't be adjusted 
(at least not without a loss of display quality). With CRT monitors you have 
more flexibility (we won't go into this further). 

When an image is printed, its physical size depends upon how many 
image pixels we put down on paper, but also how an individual image pixel 
is laid down on the paper. 

Printing techniques that can produce 

continuous tone values are dye-sublimations, 

rotogravure and ligh tjet prin ting 

** These "basic colors" (or inks) of the printer 
are called 'primary colors'. 

How Image Pixels are Reproduced by Printer Dots 

There are only a few printing technologies where a printer can directly pro- 
duce a continuous color range within an individual image pixel printed. 
Most other types of printers reproduce the color of a pixel in an image by 
approximating the color by an n x n matrix of fine dots using a specific pat- 
tern and a certain combination of the basic colors available to the printer/* 
If we want to reproduce a pixel of an image on paper, we not only have 
to place a physical printer's 'dot' on paper, but also have to give that 'dot' 

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1 .1 Basic Printing Techniques 

the tonal value of the original pixel. With bitonal images, that is easy. If the 
pixel value is o, you lay down a black printed dot, and if the pixel value is 1, 
you omit the dot. However, if the pixel has a gray value (say 128 out of 256), 
and you print with a black-and-white laser printer (just to make the expla- 
nation a bit simpler), we must find a different way. This technique is called 
rasterization or dithering. 

To simulate different tonal values (let's just stick to black-and-white for 
the moment), a number of printed dots are placed in a certain pattern on 
the paper to reproduce a single pixel of the image. In a low-resolution solu- 
tion, we could use a matrix of 3 printed dots by 3 printed dots per pixel. 
Using this scheme, we could produce 10 different gray values, as may be 
seen in figure 1-1: 

"Bi-tonal" means that there are only two 
colors in your image: pure black and pure 
white (or any other two colors) but no tonal 
values in between. 








Figure 1-1: 

Different tonal values simulated by a pattern 

of single printed dots 

Figure 1-2: Enlarged printing raster of the eagle's eye in a printed image 

Using more printed dots per image 
pixel allows for more different tonal 
values. With a pattern of 6 x 6 dots, 
you get 37 tonal grades, with a 16 x 16 
pattern, 257 tonal grades, (which is 
sufficient). For a better differentia- 
tion let's call the matrix of printer 
dots representing a pixel of the image 
a raster cell. 

Now we see why a printer's "dot 
per inch" (dpi) resolution has to be 
much higher than the resolution of a 
display (where a single dot on a 

screen may be used to reproduce a single pixel in an image, as the indi- 
vidual screen dot (also called a pixel) may have different tonal (or bright- 
ness) values. 

When you print with a device using relatively low resolution for gray- 
scale or colored images, you must make a trade-off between a high resolu- 
tion image (having as many "raster cells per inch" as possible) and larger 
raster cells providing greater tonal value per cell. 

The image impression may be improved when the printer is able to 
vary the size of its dots. This is done on some laser printers,* as well as with 
some of today's photo inkjet printers. If the dot size can be varied (also 
called modulated), fewer numbers of dots (n x n) are needed to create a 
certain number of different tonal values, (which results in a finer raster). 
This technique allows more tonal values from a fixed raster cell size. 

* E.g., HP calls the technique ProRes on laser 
printers orPhotoREt with inkjet printers. 

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1 Printing Techniques 

There are several different ways (patterns) to place the single printed 
dots in a raster cell, and the pattern for this dithering is partly a secret of 
the printer driver. The dithering dot pattern is less visible and more photo - 
like, when the pattern is not the same for all raster cells having the same 
tonal values, but is modified from raster cell to raster cell in some random 
way (this is called stochastic dithering). 

Figure 7-3: Enlarged version of very coarse 
raster of 10 lines per inch. 

What are 'Lines Per Inch 7 ? 

Using the technique described here to simulate different tonal pixel values, 
the rows of dots are not laid down exactly one below the other, rather the 
rows are slightly offset from one another. These macro -dots form a sort of 
line across an area. Raster cells and lines are not directly placed adjacent to 
each other, but have a slight gap (in most cases). 

In black color, these lines are normally placed at an angle of 45 °. The 
number of raster cells or lines in one inch (see figure 1-3) defines another 
kind of resolution called "lines per inch" or lpi for short (using metric 
names it becomes "lines per cm" or "1/cm" for short). When printing in 
color, a raster cell not only consists of a single color pattern, but the pattern 
process is repeated for all the basic (primary) colors found in the print. 

Most color printers use cyan, magenta, yellow, and black as their basic 
colors (also called primary colors). Some printers (and almost all inkjet 
printers that are titled photo printers) use some additional basic colors to 
achieve a richer color gamut and a finer raster, yet, basically, they use the 
same scheme as printers using only four basic colors. In color printers, the 
simulation of tonal values is represented using a pattern of primary colors 
(see figure 1-4). 

Figure 1-4: 

When printing color images, tonal values (in 

inkjet and offset printing) are produced by a 

dot pattern of tiny colored ink dots. With inkjet 

printers, this dot pattern is not totally regular, 

but uses some randomness. This kind of dot 

pattern is also called a 'stochastic pattern'. 

Different basic/primary colors (in a CMYK print there are four primary 
colors), raster cell lines are printed by using different line angles. In a nor- 
mal CMYK print - those encountered in most colored books and magazines 
-, cyan is printed at 71.6 °, magenta at 18.4 °, yellow at o° and black at 45 °. 
Other combinations are used, as well, but this is the common way to place 
lines of colored raster cells. To avoid moire patterns stemming from 

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1 .1 Basic Printing Techniques 

overlapping rasters, line frequencies of colors vary slightly. Table 1.1 shows an 
example for a 106 lpi color raster. 

Table 1.1: Example of a 

color raster using 

106 lpi basic rastei 

* frequency 





lpi 94.86 
Angle 71.56° 




The number of lines per inch of a print depends upon: 

1. the number of tonal values one wants (more tonal values require larger 
macro-dots as more printed dots are required to provide broader tonal 
values), and 

2. the size of the individual printed dot,* and 

3. the paper used. If you use newsprint paper, which absorbs a lot of ink, 
you would use a wider raster cell spacing to avoid the single macro-dots 
merging into one another. Using coated paper, raster cells maybe placed 
closer together resulting in a finer printing raster and finer image 

Table 1.2 provides a guideline at which image resolution in pixels per inch 
and lines per inch is appropriate for different printing media - if you use a 
printing technique that works with a fixed raster (for inkjet printers, you 
don't use a fixed raster but a printer resolution setting in your printer driver 
or RIP). 

* The smaller the individual printed dot, the 
smaller the raster cell can be. 

RIP = Raster Image Processor, see chapter 6. 

Table 1.2: Recommended raster frequency for different printing situations 

Raster width 


Image resolution 

53 lpi 

21 l/cm 

Laser printer (600 dpi, 65 grey levels) 

70-110 ppi 

70 lpi 

27 l/cm 

Newspaper print, typical rough paper 

90-140 ppi 

90 lpi 

35 l/cm 

Good quality newspaper print 

140-180 ppi 

120 lpi 

47 l/cm 

Acceptable quality for books and magazines. Raster-cell points can still 
be seen. 

160-240 ppi 

133 lpi 

52 l/cm 

Good quality for books and magazines. Raster-cell points can still be seen. 

170-265 ppi 

150 lpi 

59 l/cm 

Good offset or silk printing, individual raster-cell points may hardly be 

195-300 ppi 

180 lpi 

70 l/cm 

Good offset and silk printing, very fine raster, individual raster-cell points 
hardly recognizable; good inkjet printing, individual raster point no 
longer recognizable at a reading distance of 20-30 cm (8-1 2 inches) 

250-360 ppi 

200 lpi 

79 l/cm 

Very good book prints, you need a very smooth paper for printing. 
Raster-cell points hardly recognizable. 

300-400 ppi 

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1 Printing Techniques 

Printing using RIPs is described in more 
details in chapter 6. 

When you use an inkjet printer for fine art printing, you do not have to 
concern yourself much with raster line width. The dithering pattern of your 
printer driver is more complex than just described. Don't worry. Learn the 
native printing resolution of your specific inkjet printer - usually between 
240-360 ppi and scale (up- or upsize) your image to that size. The values do 
not have to be precise - close is good enough. In most cases, the printer 
driver (or Photoshop) will do the proper scaling when using a value close to 
the printers native resolution. Using a modern inkjet printer, you need not 
bother much with color raster angles. This, too, is taken care of by the printer 
driver or the RIP/ Inkjet drivers do not offer settings for raster width or 
color raster angles. For offset printing, however, this may (in very few situ- 
ations) be of interest and may be dealt with in Photoshop when separating 

** The slightly increasing of the dot size 
caused by this bleeding is called 'dot gain'. 

How Many Pixels or Dots Per Inch Do You Really Need? 

There is no quick, general answer to that question. It depends on several 

► Type of printing technique used: 

Are you using a continuous-tone printing method (such as direct photo 
or dye- sublimation printing) or a method that produces halftones by 
dithering (such as inkjet or offset printing)? 

The ppi values you need will be roughly the same for both methods. 
However, the dpi values of the printers will have to change, as in dither- 
ing you need several printer points (or ink droplets) to build up a raster 
cell reproducing a pixel of the image. 

► Type of paper used: 

If you use a rough, absorptive paper (e. g., as used in common newspa- 
pers), printed dots will bleed a bit and you must reduce the dots per inch 
frequency (as indicated in table 1.2).** If you use a good, smooth-coated 
paper, you may increase your resolution and get a finer, more detailed 

If you use glossy or luster paper, you will be able to reproduce even 
more details (allowing for higher ppi/dpi) than with matte paper or 

► Viewing distance: 

Viewing distance is an important factor, as the human eye can only 
differentiate single points up to a certain viewing angle (about 0.01- 
0.02 ). If the viewing angle is less, two separate points can no longer be 
differentiated and visually merge. For a normal reading distance of 
about 12 inches (30 cm), this minimal size is about 0.08 mm (0.0032 
inch). Bright light may reduce this size a bit, low light increase it a bit. 
Consequently for an Letter/ A4- sized photo, a pixel size or raster cell 

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1 .1 Basic Printing Techniques 

size of 0.08 mm is a good value (equivalent to a 300 ppi raster size). If 
the pixel size is smaller, visual image quality (in terms of visual differ- 
entiation of details) will not substantially improve. 

If the photo is of Ledger/ A3 size, viewing distance is usually 
increased (in order to see the whole image at a glance). Thus for Ledger/ 
A3, the pixel size (or cell size if we use a dithering method), may increase 
the (raster) point size to 0.122 mm or about 210 ppi. 

If you produce posters, the viewing distance will increase further, 
and the pixel size may increase accordingly (and the ppi may decrease 
accordingly). If you move up to large-format printing, your ppi may 
even go as low as 10-20 ppi. The viewing distance will usually be more 
than 10 yards (or meters). In a simplified formula, simply divide 300 
into your viewing distance in feet and you have the required ppi value 

resolution (in ppi) = We w/ngd/stance (in feet) 

For this reason, a photo shot with a 12 megapixel camera may be 
enlarged to almost any size you want - if the image is viewed from the 
appropriate viewing distance. 

► Type of printer driver, driver settings and interpolation used: 

For optimal results, you should use a ppi value close to, or even exactly 
that of, the printers native resolution. The printer's native resolution 
varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Epson inkjet printers, for 
example, usually have a native resolution of 720 ppi, while most HP 
inkjet printer use 600 ppi. Canon inkjets usually use 600 ppi, as well. 

Do you really need an image resolution as high as stated? It contra- 
dicts a statement given before. Well, yes and no. For optimal results with 
an Epson inkjet printer, use either 720 ppi or 360 ppi; for an HP printer, 
either 600 ppi or 300 ppi.* 

You may leave (automatic) scaling either to Photoshop (as part of 
the print dialog) or to the printer driver. However, in both cases, you 
really can t know exactly which algorithms are used for scaling and how 
well those algorithms will work with your image and your scaling factor 
(Photoshop will use the scaling algorithm you set in your basic 
Photoshop Preferences). 

If your image is close to the native resolution given above (at the size 
you intend to print the image), the algorithm will not matter too much. 
If, however, the image has to be upsized or downsized considerably, the 
scaling algorithm does matter (it will also influence the effect of sharp- 
ening done for printing). In this case, you should either scale an image 
before calling up the print dialog (and you may have to do this for each 
individual printing size of the image) or you may use a RIP (see chap- 
ter 6). 

If you do your scaling in Photoshop, we recommend "Bicubic 
Smoother" for up-sizing and "Bicubic Sharper" for down-sizing/* 

* Here, we assume, no further scaling is 

** If you leave the sizing to Photoshop (via the 
Print or Print with Preview dialog), Photoshop 
will use the resizing (Image Interpolation) 
method that was selected in your Preferences 
settings (Edit ►General; with Mac OS it is: 
Preferences ► General! 

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1 Printing Techniques 

1.2 Offset Printing 

Technically, you differentiate between sheet 

fed offset printing and web offset printing. 

With the latter, the paper comes from a paper 

roll instead of separate sheets of paper. The 

basic printing technique however, is the same 

for both kinds of systems. 

Offset printing is the technique used for most books, brochures, magazines, 
and newspapers. It is plate-based printing. The image is rasterized - as 
described under "Basic Printing Techniques' - for the print and transferred 
onto a printing plate by projection. This projection currently is done with 
lasers or LED arrays. First, a plate is coated with a light-sensitive layer. The 
laser (or LED array) inscribes the image pattern onto this layer. The printing 
plate is chemically developed, then wrapped around the printing cylinder 
®. Those parts of the plate not printed are smooth and do not pick up water 
when passing the wetting roller ®. The parts of the plate to be printed are 
rougher and pick up ink when passing an ink-soaked roller ©. This ink- 
pattern is transferred (by offset) to a rubber-coated rotating cylinder @ (this 
is why the printing technique is called "offset printing"). The paper to be 
printed passes between this rubber cylinder and the paper roller © pressing 
the paper against the rubber cylinder. Thus, ink is transferred onto the paper 
and the image is transferred. In color printing, this process is repeated in 
additional printing units - one for each primary color (normally C, M, Y, 
and K). 

wetting roller 

Figure 1-5: 
Functional model of offset printing 
(traditional analog offset printing) 


The image quality achieved with this technology is quite good in terms of 
resolution and longevity - provided a good, coated, acid-free paper is used 
and the image is viewed from a correct (reading) distance. The richness of 
the color gamut is clearly below that of good photo inkjet printing (see fig- 
ure 1-6). 

The gamut of an offset print may be enhanced if six rather than the 
normal four (CMYK) inks are used. Printing with six inks is also called 
hexachrome printing (in addition to CMYK, green and orange are used). 
However, this requires special printing presses having additional print 
units. Hexachrome printing is far more expensive than CMYK (4C or 
4-color) printing, and also requires a special color separation process and 
special plug-ins for Photoshop to prepare images or DTP documents). 

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1.3 Laser Printers 

Traditional offset printing might be considered if you intend to make a 
print run of 1,000 or more copies. As few, if any, home-users or small offices 
can justify printing equipment for offset printing, we will not discuss it any 
further (additionally, we have a very limited knowledge of the techniques 

In recent years, digital offset printing has come onto the market (e.g. HP 
Indigo press). These systems work with printing techniques similar to that 
of laser printers. These digital offset printers are mainly used for smaller 
print runs (typically 50-1,000). With most models, the maximum print size 
is restricted to A4 or A3. The resolution of digital offset printing is greatly 
inferior to that of analog offset printing (e.g. HP Indigo press 5000 has a 
resolution of 812 x 812 dpi, while analog offset printers work with typically 
2,400 x 2,400 or even 3,200 x 3,200 dpi). Printing photos, this leads to a 
visible reduction of image quality. As for color gamut, some digital offset 
printers exceed the gamut of traditional CYMK offset presses. They, how- 
ever, are still inadequate for high-quality fine art prints. 

Traditional offset printers, as well as digital offset printers are quite 
fast. For example, HP gives a printing rate of about 4,000 A4 pages per 
hour for its HP Indigo press 5000. The speed of traditional offset printing 
presses may exceed 100,000 pages per hour. 

The costs of digital offset printers starts at about $50,000 US and up. 
The price of a traditional offset press may easily exceed one million dollars. 

Epson R2400, Premium Semigloss 

CMYK, U. S. Web 
coated, SWOP 

Figure 1-6: The gamut of a photo inkjet printer 

(light-groy area) is larger than the gamut with 

traditional analog offset printing (colored 


1.3 Laser Printers 

Laser printers are well established, reasonably fast (from four pages per 
minute up to 100 pages per minute) and reasonably inexpensive for the cost 
per page (typically about 4-6 cents per Letter/ A4 page in black-and-white at 
an ink coverage of 5% per page and about 16-20 cents at an ink coverage of 
90% per page). While color laser printers were quite expensive formerly, in 
2004 and 2005 their price dropped dramatically. You can buy a color laser 
printer for less than $ 500 US currently. With low-priced color laser print- 
ers, manufacturers use a business model similar to low-cost inkjet printers: 
they sell inexpensive printers and earn their return via rather expensive 
toner units. A color toner set - lasting for about 3,000-5,000 pages at 5% 
medium ink page coverage - costs about the same as the basic laser printer 
unit ($300-$400 US), resulting in a cost per page (Letter/ A4) of roughly 
$0.10 US with a 5% medium ink coverage per page and about $1.60 US when 
printing full page size colored images. Nevertheless, printing of text and 
graphic pages with a color laser printer is much faster and somewhat 
cheaper than using an inkjet printer. 

Laser printers use very much the same technique (see figure 1-7) used 
by modern photocopy systems (some models even combine both func- 
tions: scanning and printing). 

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1 Printing Techniques 

A photo drum ® is charged positively by a charging unit ©. The image 
of the print is rasterized by the printer's RIP (Raster Image Processor), and 
this raster is applied onto a drum using a laser beam and rotating mirror 
® (or alternatively by an array of LEDs). Where the light hits the drum, the 
positive charge is erased. Then, the drum passes the toner unit ®. Those 
parts that saw light pick up the positively charged toner, while those parts 
that bear a positive charge reject the toner. Further on, the toner is trans- 
fused onto the paper and burned in by a heated roller (fuser) ®. 

Figure 1-7: 
Functional model of a laser printer 

Epson R2400 inkjeton 
Epson Premium Luster 

I C5400 on 

color paper 

Figure 1-8: Gamut comparison of a color laser 

printer (OKI C5400) (inner colored figure) and a 

photo Inkjet printer 

(Epson R2400, using Epson Premium Luster 

paper, light-gray area). 

rotating mirror 

charging unit 

cleaning roller 

^heated roller (fuser) 

paper feeder 


output stack 

Color laser printers use four inks - cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). 
They either use four drums or a transfer belt that picks up toner from four 
separate drum rotations and four toner units and transfers the complete 
color image onto the paper with one rotation. 

As for image quality, the limiting factor of today's color laser printers 
is the resolution used (600-2,400 dpi, usually just 600 or 1,200 dpi) and the 
number of colors they use - which is only four (CMYK). A further limita- 
tion stems from the size of the toner particles, much larger than those of 
dye-based or even pigment-based inks on inkjet printers. 

Most laser printers have problems producing homogeneously colored 
areas or fine tonal gradients (you usually see smaller blotches of unevenly 
printed colors). With several of the color laser printers, the image shows a 
gloss, which may impair viewing with some images. You cannot avoid the 
gloss even when using matte papers. This is especially true for solid inks 
used by some XEROX color laser printers. 

For this reason, image quality with color laser printers is clearly infe- 
rior to all other printing methods described here and can't touch that of 
photo inkjet printers. If, however, you have a color laser printer, we recom- 
mend using it for fast index printing. The color and detail quality, in most 
cases, is good enough for a first, fast inspection. 

Image longevity very much depends on the type of paper and inks 
(toner) used and ranges from about 10 to 20 years. The permanence of 
black-and-white prints is much better, and may be used for archiving doc- 
uments (provided you use the appropriate paper). 

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1.4 Dye-Sublimation Printers 


1 .4 Dye-Sublimation Printers 

Thermo -sublimation printers are frequently used for the fast and simple 
production of photographic prints, often directly from the digital camera 
via a USB cable using the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) or PictBridge 
protocol supported by today's digital cameras - even the cheaper consumer 
models. Alternatively, you may plug your cameras memory card into a card- 
slot the printer provides. 

With thermo -sublimation printing (also called dye- sublimation or 
dye-sub for short), color is transferred from a color- coated ribbon (foil) 
onto the paper. The transfer is done by an array of tiny heating elements 
(integrated into the print head). Where the ribbon is heated, the color on 
the foil evaporates (sublimates) and enters the paper where it cools down. 
CMY as well as CMYK ribbons are used. Three or four passes (or sections) 
of colored ribbons are needed to produce a complete image on the paper. 
Usually the ribbon consists of sections with the alternating basic colors 
(three for CMY or four for CMYK). The used portion of a ribbon becomes 
unusable, is rolled up and finally discarded. The paper must make three 
(CMY) or four (CMYK) passes under the print head. Individual color 
intensity is determined by the amount of heat. When the next primary 
color is added (to those colors previously composed of several primary col- 
ors), their colors merge into a combined color due to the heat. The three or 
four colors merge in the paper and form an (almost) continuously toned 

With these systems, production costs are independent of the number 
and kinds of colors and the amount of color a printed page has, as a ribbon 
section is used only once and then discarded. 

Figure 1-9: Canon SELPHYCP750 dye- 
sublimation printer, 300 dpi, print-size up to 
w x 20 cm, (Courtesy Canon Germany) 

used ribbon 

fresh CMY(K) ribbon 

printed image 

print head 
(array of heating elements) 


^3 or 4 cycles J 

photo paper Figure 1-10: 

Working scheme of a thermo-sublimation 

The typical resolution of dye- sublimation printers is 240-300 dpi, which 
sounds very low. However, keep in mind that dye-sub printers do not render 
a color via dithering, but do it by merging their basic colors by sublimation, 
thus achieving an (almost) continuous color tonal range for every dot and a 
highly photographic image at these resolutions. 

Typical dye- sub printers today range from 4x6 inch to A4 in print 
size, the lower- cost models (partly portable) are mainly in the 4x6 inches 
(10 x 15 cm) range. A typical print speed is about 30-100 seconds for a 
4x6 inch photo. Some printers are much faster (e.g. Kodak Photo Printer 
6850, claims 300 dpi, 8 sec. for 4 x 6 inch - but it costs $2,200 US). 

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1 Printing Techniques 

The range of printing material used with dye- subs is very limited and 
highly restricted to papers provided by the manufacturer of the printer - 
one kind for glossy and another kind for matte paper, in most cases. The 
same is true for inks (color ribbons). 

The lightfastness and longevity of dye- sub prints is about five to fifteen 
years (considerably more in dark storage). 

Prices for small dye- sub printers start at about $ 120 US and go higher 
with print/printer size; about $500-$i,500 US for a Letter/A4 size printer. 
The cost per print is about $0.20-$ 0.30 for a 4 x 6 inch print and about 
$ 1.5-$ 2.5 for an Letter/A4-sized print. 

1 .5 LightJet® Printing (Digital Photo Print) 

* LightJet is a trade name ofCymbolic 
Science, nowadays a subsidiary ofOce. 

There are various names for this technique: digital photo print or LightJet® 
printing* or direct digital printing or direct photo printing. Here, in essence, 
the image is imposed onto conventional photographic material by lasers. To 
produce an RGB print, three lasers are used. The material may be photo- 
graphic paper used for traditional color photos or may be photographic film 
for translucent prints. The exposed material is then developed in a traditional 
wet process. The resolution used by most printers is either 300 dpi (or ppi) or 
400 dpi. Lower resolutions may be used, as well, and will be interpolated to 
the printer's native resolution. This seems very low, compared to the resolu- 
tion of inkjet printers or offset presses. With direct photo printing, however, 
no dithering is required to produce halftones, and every exposed dot on the 
paper combines red, green, and blue, thus resulting in (almost) continuous 
tone dots. For this reason, 400 dpi or even 300 dpi will produce a very fine 
image quality. 

Figure 1-11: 

Durst Lambda® large-format photo laser 


(Courtesy Durst Phototechnik AG, Brixen, Italy) 

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1.5 Lightjet Printing (Digital Photo Print) 


There are a number of different makers and models of this type of digital 
photo printer (e.g. Fuji Frontier minilab, Agfa D-Lab, Lambda, Oce Lightjet®, 
Chromira). Print image size may vary from 4 x 6 inches up to 50 x 50 inches). 
With some digital photographic printers, you may even go much larger (e.g. 
the Durst Lambda photo laser imager may produce prints up to a width of 50 
inches and a length of 262 feet). 

As direct photo printers are quite expensive,* this technique is almost 
exclusively used by service shops - often the very largest ones. 

There are two kinds of photographic print shops: 

1. Consumer-oriented photographic print shops 

They produce a very large quantity of prints per day at very low prices 
(typically from 15 cents for a 4 x 6 inch print to about $5 US for a Letter- 
sized print). The processing is done fully automatically and in large 
quantities. Special requests are usually not handled by these shops. In 
most cases, an automatic image optimization is performed. This may be 
disabled at most shops when you place an order, which you should do if 
you have done your own optimization. 

The quality of their prints is usually quite reasonable and uniform, in 
most cases. 

Currently, ICC profiles are ignored by these printers; all images are 
assumed to be in sRGB. If you send an image to them for processing, you 
should convert it to sRGB (if not already in this format). 

Most of these shops offer only standard image formats. If your image 
format differs from those supported, you have the option of using either 
the full width with some parts of the image being trimmed off or receive 
an image with white borders - which, for fine art prints, may be what 
you want, anyway. In most cases, it is preferable to set your image to one 
of their standard formats and decide where and what kind of white 
frame (or other colored frame) you wish to use. 

2. Professional photographic service bureaus 

They specialize in high quality prints (usually in smaller quantities), 
also accommodating special requests. They may even offer to optimize 
your image for printing, which may or may not be appropriate. These 
bureaus should provide you with a printer's ICC profile (often, you may 
download this from their Web home-page). These profiles may be used 
for two purposes: 

A) Use as soft-proofing to assess how your image will appear when 

B) To convert your image to another profile. When you send your 
images to a service bureau, the image should be converted to the 
correct profile as other embedded profiles are ignored by the print- 
ing process. This hopefully will change in the future! 

* They start from about $ 100,000 US. 

ICC profiles describe the color space of an 
image or the color behavior of a device. For 
more on ICC profiles, see section 3.2. 

For soft-proofing, see section 3.12. 

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1 Printing Techniques 

Figure 1-12: Color gamut of Adobe RGB (1998) 

(white frame) and that of a digital photo laser 

printer (Oce LightJetsooo) (colored frame) 

Print permanence of digital photographic prints is the same as that of pho- 
tographic paper (silver-halide color prints), which typically range from 
17 years (e.g., Konica Minolta QA Paper Impressa) to 40 years (e.g., Fuji 
Crystal Archive paper), depending on the kind of paper used. All these data 
assume that all the chemical residues are removed from the photographic 
papers. If not, its lifetime will be substantially reduced. 

Most shops offer three to four kinds of paper (glossy, semigloss, pearl, 
and matte). As standard photographic papers maybe used for printing, there 
is sometimes a choice of several papers from different suppliers. For higher 
quality, often Fuji Crystal Archive paper is used due to its high print perma- 

Some digital photo printers allow printing on transparent and translu- 
cent photographic film. 

Print speed is quite fast - at least compared to inkjet printers. The Oce 
Lightjet 5000, for example, prints a 50" x 50" print at 405 dpi in about 12 min- 

The color gamut of modern direct photo printers is about that of Adobe 
RGB (1998) (slightly larger). 

If you want to produce many prints of the same image with the papers 
offered and their lightfastness (print permanence) is sufficient for your pur- 
pose, direct photo prints ordered via the Internet may be an easy and cost- 
effective way to go. 

It is best to start with a test order, and only order more if the results are 
satisfactory. While you may have your pictures the next day with consumer 
photographic print shops (at least in Europe, where even snail mail is rea- 
sonably fast), prints from a professional service bureau usually take three to 
five days, plus delivery time. 

While most photo services will even print black-and-white prints on C4 
paper (photo paper designed for color prints), there are a few pure black-and- 
white papers available nowadays for direct photo printing. They will prob- 
ably result in better neutral prints. If your service provider only offers C4 
paper, make sure that the system is well (neutral) calibrated - otherwise you 
may get an undesired color cast in your black-and-white prints. It is best to 
try the service with a small black-and-white print first. 

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1.6 Inkjet Printing 


1.6 Inkjet Printing 

Having taken a glance at other printing techniques, we want to dig deeper 
into inkjet printing. While some techniques mentioned are rather old, ink- 
jet printing is rather young. The first color inkjet printers came to the mar- 
ket in about 1985. Compared to today's inkjet printers, they were very slow 
and showed extremely poor image quality. They were used largely to render 
simple color plots and production of transparencies for presentations. Print 
permanence of that first generation of color inkjet printers was quite poor. 

Soon, however, some specialized high-end printers came on the mar- 
ket. The IRIS printer - made by IRIS Graphics of Bedford, Massachusetts 
(later acquired by Scitex) - was one such machine. The IRIS printer, at an 
early stage of inkjet history, provided a reasonably high print speed and 
considerable resolution and image quality, while print permanence and 
maintenance were problems. Prints produced by IRIS printers are some- 
times called Giclee prints. 

Along with the growth of the PC and Macintosh markets, the need for 
inkjet printers grew, and today you scarcely find a home PC without an 
inkjet printer, their cost dropping from several thousands of dollars US to 
about 150-800 dollars (depending on the maximum print size) for quite 
acceptable desktop photo inkjet printers. For large-format inkjet printers 
(those beyond a print size of A3+/Super B), you will have to spend several 
thousand dollars. 

A very nice page by Harold Johnson on Giclee 
prints may be found on 

Inkjet Technology 

There are a number of different inkjet technologies in use. The basis of all of 
them is that tiny ink droplets are ejected from a printhead and projected 
onto a paper. To increase print speed, a printhead now consists of many 
nozzles - up to about 3,000 per ink channel on contemporary printers. 

The technique making the ink droplets eject differs with various print- 
ers and printer makers (most printer manufacturers use a single technique 
in all machines). 

The main techniques are: 

► Continuous flow inkjet printers 

The following methods are also called drop-on-demand, as they eject a drop- 
let only when needed on the paper: 

► Thermal inkjet printers (e.g., used by most HP and Canon printers). 
Canon calls this technique bubble-jet. 

► Piezoelectric inkjet printers (e.g., used by most Epson printers) 

inkjet printers 

I I 

continuous flow drop-on-demand 

piezo technique thermo printing 

Classification of inkjet printer techniques 

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1 Printing Techniques 

Figure 7-73: 
Principal ink flow in a continuous flow Inkjet 


Continuous Flow Inkjet 

This technique was developed by IBM in the 1970s. With continuous ink 
flow systems, a continuous stream of charged ink droplets is produced. 
Those droplets intended to print fly straight onto the paper, while undesired 
droplets are electronically deflected into a gutter for recirculation. This is 
the oldest inkjet technology and is used for high-speed production lines. 
The complex ink- circulation system makes these printers costly in mainte- 
nance. They can be very fast compared with the typical drop-on-demand 
type printers. 

print media 
on drum 

ink piezo 

pump valve 

This technique is used by the famous IRIS inkjet printer, where the paper is 
mounted on a rotating drum. These systems are quite expensive and not 
suited for desktop usage or smaller installations. Usually solvent-based inks 
are used with these printers. 

ink reservoir print head 
piezo crystal 

Figure 1-14: Different phases of the ejection of 
a droplet with a piezo print head 

Piezo Inkjet 

Certain kinds of crystals expand or contract when subjected to an electrical 
charge. This piezoelectric effect is used in certain inkjet printers. To eject a 
droplet, a voltage is applied to the crystal in the print head, the crystal 
deflects inward, forcing a droplet out of the nozzle. The returning deflection 
pulls fresh ink from the reservoir, and the cycle repeats. A print head con- 
sists of many of these miniature jets (nozzles), and the system allows varia- 
tions in the size of droplets to produce a finer pattern and smoother color 

Thermal Inkjet 

With thermal inkjet printing - also called bubble- jet printing - there is a 
resistor in the print head chamber. When it is heated by a short pulse of 
electrical current, a vapor bubble forms in the chamber increasing pressure. 
This pressure forces an ink droplet out of the nozzle. Then the bubble col- 
lapses and draws in more ink from the reservoir. For the next droplet, the 
cycle repeats. This technique is used by some HP printers (e.g. HP Design - 

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1.6 Inkjet Printing 


jet 30), as well as by most Canon printers (e.g. Canon 19900, W6200). Also 
some wide-format printers like the HP DesignJet 130 and the ENCAD 
Novajet loooi use thermal print heads. The technique may be used with 
dye-based, as well as pigment-based inks, however, it does require an ink 
suited for thermal inkjet printing (with a low boiling point). The life-cycle 
of these printers is a bit shorter than that of piezo -based print heads, but the 
production cost is lower. 

Droplet Size 

Along with increasing printer resolution, the size of the individual ink drop- 
lets has decreased. A smaller droplet allows production of a finer raster of 
dots on the paper. Today, photo printers use a droplet size down to 1-5 pico- 
liters (1 picoliter is 0.000 000 000 001 liter or 1 x 10 " 12 liter), thus allowing 
a single pixel (a raster cell) of the image to be built by many tiny dots, achiev- 
ing a fine raster (e.g. 360 ppi or even 600 ppi) with a broad range of tonal 

With some photo inkjet printers (e.g., with piezo-based ones) the 
droplet size can vary. For dark colors - especially colors of a primary ink 
color - larger droplet sizes are used. This allows increasing print speed. For 
light colors, a smaller droplet size and wider droplet spacing is used. 

Ink reservoir print head 

heating resistor 

Figure 1-15: Phases of a thermal inkjet printer 

Printer Resolution 

When inkjet printers first arrived, a resolution of 150 dots per inch was con- 
sidered good. Today, resolutions of 2,400 dpi, 4,800 dpi, 5,800 dpi, and even 
9,600 dpi are normal for photo printers. Please do not be mislead by these 
advertising claims, as they refer to resolution only in one direction, e.g., 
horizontal. Canons i9950 photo printer has a maximum resolution of 4,800 
x 2,400 dpi, where the higher resolution is seen in the horizontal direction 
(achieved by the horizontally moving print head) and the lower resolution 
in the vertical direction. Here, the increments are determined by the step 
motor that moves the paper. The same is true for most inkjet printers. 

Before you invest your money in one of these high-resolution printers, 
consider carefully whether you actually need the maximum resolution 
advertised by these printers. To take advantage of a manufacturer's maxi- 
mum resolution, you need a paper or other printing medium that can 
accommodate the fine pattern of ink droplets, so the ink will not bleed 
noticeably into the open area. The paper (or its coating) must absorb ink 
very quickly to keep it localized. Ensure your paper can accommodate the 
resolution you wish to use. 

We have found that a horizontal resolution of 1,400 dpi or 2,800 dpi, 
both of which are typical for Epson printers, is sufficient, even for fine art 
prints. For higher resolutions, the print speed decreases dramatically and 

-> Please do not confuse the 'printer 
resolution' -given in 'dots per inch' (dpi) - 
and the resolution of the image sent to the 
printer (the latter given in pixel per inch - 
ppi). The printing resolution has to be much 
higher as inkjet printers produce halftones 
using a pattern of single dots and need 
several of these dots to simulate the halftone 
of a single image pixel on paper. 

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1 Printing Techniques 

ink usage increases, neither of which result in noticeably better image 
quality. Of course, print speed and ink usage can vary among different 
printers, even from the same manufacturer. 

Number of Inks 

"light cyan" and "light magenta" are also 
called "photo cyan" and "photo magenta". 

Figure 1-16: Though the Epson R2400 may 

use 9 different inks, only 8 cartridges may be 

in place at any point of time. You may either 

have either 'Photo Black' (PK) or 'Matte Black' 

(MK) in place. 

+ The curren t line of HP fine art prin ters, like 

theZ3ioo, uses 11 inks -3 shades of Black/Gray 

as well as Red, Green and Blue - plus a gloss 

enhancer. TheA3+ line of HP fine art printers 

(HP B9180 and B8850) use 8 inks (having only 2 

shades of Black/Gray). 

While inkjet printers originally used a single black ink, three more inks 
(CMY) were added to produce what we now take for granted as the norm: 
CMYK. All of todays photo inkjet printers use at least six inks: CcMmYK 
(c = light cyan, m = light magenta). 

To enhance the color gamut of these printers, more inks are often used. 
Epson's Stylus Photo R1900, for instance, uses Red and Orange (and, 
optionally, a gloss optimizer) but has no Light Cyan nor Light Magenta. 
Epson's R2400 uses three shades of black inks: a Photo Black (or alterna- 
tively Matte Black), a Light Black, as well as a Light Light Black, in addition 
to the CcMmYK, thus totaling eight inks. This latter collection of inks pro- 
duces neutral black-and-white prints with very fine tonal gradients. 

The color gamut and print permanence of today's professional and 
semi-professional inkjet prints now surpasses that of traditional silver- 
halide photographic prints, although there are some weak spots: e.g., satu- 
rated blue and red. For this reason, the number of different inks used in a 
fine art printer will likely increase to 11, with the addition of R, B and a 
gloss optimizer. 

In 2006, Canon announced its "imagePROGRAF iPFsooo". This printer 
accommodates 12 single inks: CcMmYK plus RGB plus Light Black (Canon 
calls it Grey) and Light Light Black (which Canon calls Photo Gray). For 
Black there is a Photo Black and a Matte Black (all in the printer at the same 
time). This 17" printer uses pigment inks. 

Practically, though, the number of inks that may be used is limited by 
the size and weight of the print heads, and the cost of the numerous ink 

For more details on dye-based and pigment- 
based inks, see section 2.2. 

Type of Inks 

Two different types of inks are mainly used in today's normal inkjet printers: 


There are, however, several other types of inks on the market, e.g., inks with 
an oil base that are primarily for large-scale printing and weatherized and/ 
or ruggedized prints for outdoor use. Other inks are formulated for printing 
on fabric, and are usually solvent based. Some printers use hybrid inks: dye- 
based for colors, and pigment-based for black to achieve a dark, deep black, 
a technique used by some Canon printers. 

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1.8 How to Pick Your Fine Art Printer 19 

1 .7 Other Printing Techniques 

Other printing techniques available for fine art printing include: screen 
printing or silk-screen printing. Solid-ink printing (used by some Xerox 
Phaser printers), thermoautochrome printing, and various other tech- 
niques. Unfortunately, these methods are not practical for home-based 
printing, because they are expensive, involve large equipment, and are time 
consuming. Rather they are better suited to a service bureau, especially 
when producing a large number of prints of the same image or producing 
very large prints. In these cases, you should ask the service bureau for spe- 
cific details on how to prepare your images for printing. 

1 .8 How to Pick Your Fine Art Printer 

The inkjet printer market continues to grow. With so many viable choices, 
how do you pick a suitable printer for your needs? Though it may appear 
trivial, the first question is: what do you intend to do with your printer? We 
assume it's for fine art printing or high-quality printing. 
First, let's define the requirements for fine art printing: 

► High to very high image quality 

► Rich color gamut 

► Reasonable print permanence (more than 25 years) 

► Two or more tints of black inks for optimal black-and-white prints 

► Adequate print size and print performance 

► Costs 

Image Quality 

When photos are printed, you should achieve a clearly photographic image, 
provided you use the proper paper, e.g., glossy. Tonal gradients should be 
smooth and should show no banding or posterization. The individual pixel 
(raster cell) should not be visible at a proper viewing distance. Almost all of 
today's photo inkjet printers with print resolutions greater than 1,200 dpi 
and having more than the four basic inks (CMYK) achieve this goal. 

Rich Color Gamut 

A color gamut is the spectrum of colors a particular printer can produce. 
Dye-based inks tend to provide a larger range than do those which are pig- 
ment based. The manufacturers of pigment-based inkjet printers try to 
compensate for this by employing new ink formulas. Epson, for example, in 
2005, with its K3 inks, reached its third generation of UltraChrome ink. 
Additionally, colors beyond the basic CMYK sets are often used to expand 
the color palette. Most of them use at least six inks: CMYK, c (light cyan) 
and m (light magenta). Some add red and blue, others add several shades of 

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1 Printing Techniques 

* In almost all cases, you can download 

profiles from each manufacturer's Web 

site. However, these profiles only cover the 

manufacturer's own ink and papers. 

black. As stated earlier, we will probably see printers using both CcMmYKRB 
and two to four black variations. In fact, the race appears to have started in 
February 2006, when Canon announced their new printer model image - 
PROGRAF iPFsooo would come with 12 inks: CcMmYRGB Photo 
Black (called Regular Black), Matte Black, Gray, and Photo Gray. 

With new ink formulas and more colors in use, the gamut difference 
between dye-based and pigment-based inks virtually vanishes. You may 
enhance the achievable gamut by using bright white glossy papers, which 
produces the maximum gamut. These papers are available for both kinds 
of printers and most, if not all, available inks. 

It's very difficult to interpret gamut size from the technical specifica- 
tion of a printer. If the last bit of gamut size really matters, you will have to 
compare ICC profiles provided by the printer manufacturer/ There are 
also hundreds of custom profiles available from fine art printing profes- 
sionals like Bill Atkinson and Joseph Holmes, both pioneers in the rela- 
tively new field of fine art printing using inkjet printers. 

You will find more on print permanence in 
section 2.1. 

Print Permanence 

A print should last for a reasonable time without noticeable degradation of 
color or density. So, what is reasonable? This answer may vary greatly depen- 
ding on your own expectations and what you hope to do with the print. 

According to our definition, the print should have, at a minimum, a 
print permanence of at least 25 years, depending on how it will be used and 
displayed. If you intend to sell your prints, especially to serious collectors, 
20 years may not be long enough. Fifty years or even 100 years is considered 
the minimum time for museum- quality prints, so perhaps you should con- 
sider this metric. You must define your own expectations, however. 

You will find more on RIPs in chapter 6 and 
more on black-and-white printing in chapter 7. 

** Examples of this would be MIS Ultra Tone 

family of inks (e.g., at, 

and Piezography Neutral K7 inks 

(www.piezography com) 

Canon too offers several inkjet printers that use 

three black inks, including the "imagePROQRAF 

iPF5ioo"and the "imagePROQRAF '\PFs200'" 

Black-and-White Printing 

To produce good black-and-white or monochrome images, look for a printer 
with at least two shades of black ink, or use a good RIP like The QuadToneRIP 
or ImagePrint, both of which allow you to compensate somewhat for fewer 
black inks. For some printers, there are also multi-tone black- ink sets. For 
the Epson 2100/2200, for one example, a number of multi-tone black-ink 
sets are on the market.** Before switching from color to black inks for mono- 
chrome printing, you must carefully clean your print heads. Ideally, a printer 
using multiple black inks in its original set would be preferred. The Epson 
R2880, using three different black inks (Black, Light Black and Light Light 
Black) or the HP Z3100 and Z3200 models, which also use three black/gray 
inks, are examples of printers well suited for black-and-white printing. 

With the introduction of printers using several shades of black ink, the 
use of third-party, multi-tone ink sets decreases. If the printer uses two or 
three toned black inks, its printer driver provided by the OEM usually has 
special settings for black-and-white printing. 

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1.8 How to Pick Your Fine Art Printer 


Adequate Print Size and Print Performance 

To create the most striking and lasting impression, a print must be displayed 
at an optimum size. While most desktop printers offer a maximum size of 
Letter/ A4, fine art printing demands a minimum size of Ledger/ A3. For some 
prints, especially for exhibitions, larger formats maybe needed. Since larger- 
format printers tend to be a bit pricey, you might consider something in 
between, say, a printer that produces prints up to 13" or 17" wide. These are 
relatively affordable, even for many home-based printing aficionados, and 
may save you countless trips to the neighborhood print shop. If larger prints 
are, in fact, your bent, then perhaps the print shop is your best bet. Before 
choosing, though, analyze your true needs and wishes, then decide whether 
to purchase your own printer or have someone else do the printing for you. 

Types of Papers Supported 

Not every printer can adequately accommodate every type of paper. You 
must carefully match the paper to the printer, considering the following 
items: size, ink, and paper thickness. While size is obvious, the other two 
factors may not be. Most printers can only accommodate paper up to a 
specific thickness and flexibility. You can find this information in the print- 
er's technical specifications. Maximum media thickness is largely influenced 
by the path through the printer the paper will travel. The Epson R2400, for 
example, provides three different paper paths: the normal one, from the top; 
a second one, using rear- feeding; and a third one, where the paper is pulled 
in from the front and pushed out at the front again. This last method allows 
a paper thickness of up to 0.06 inch (1.6 mm). Also HP's Photosmart Pro 
9180 provides a number of different paper pathes and allows for papers up 
to 1.5 mm. Canon's fine art printers cover very much the same range. 

With printers using dye-based inks, you should only use swellable 
papers* when print longevity is an issue. Lightfastness of HP swellable 
papers (used with HP dye-based inks, for example) is about 65-130 years for 
black-and-white prints. Using different papers, print longevity may be 
much shorter. Some other dye-based inks, especially used with micropo- 
rous coated papers (more on that in section 2.3), may achieve only a very 
short print permanence. 

You have a wider choice of paper if you have a printer that uses pigment 
inks, such as the HP B9180 and Z3100 models, the Epson R2400 and R2880, 
or the Canon PIXM A Pro 9500 and iPFsioo, to name just a few. Apart from 
the manufacturers' own papers, there is a wide range of third-party papers 
available for use with these printers and inks. Using pigment-based inks 
definitely gives you more freedom when choosing your paper. 

Some printers also accommodate roll paper, which reduces paper cost 
when printing a lot, and may become more important when you want to 
print panoramas or long flyers. When using roll paper, an automatic cutter 

* For more on swellable paper, see section 23, 
page 41. 

-> For fine art prints, print longevity should 
always be an issue. 

-> HP cites a print permanence of 250 years 
and more (confirmed by Wilhelm Research) 
for its Vivera pigment inks. This rating is, 
however, only valid if you use HP Advanced 
Photo or other fne art papers.. 

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1 Printing Techniques 

You will find similar choices with some HP 

and Canon printers.. 

** See section 2.2 for more on this. 

is a necessary advantage, although these are primarily available for larger- 
scale printers. 

A printer's ink set also must be correctly matched to the desired paper. 
There are inks better suited for glossy and semigloss, while other inks work 
better for matte paper. To accommodate these differences, some modern 
photo printers allow switching some inks on the fly, however, it is usually 
only the black ink cartridges. Perhaps in the future all printers will simply 
have more cartridges preinstalled, instead of having to switch them physi- 
cally for different paper types. 

So, for example, the Epson R1900 using UltraChrome Hi- Gloss inks and 
an additional gloss optimizer targets gloss, semigloss and luster papers, 
and is less suited for matte papers or canvas. You may, however, use either 
Photo Black (on gloss or semigloss) or Matte Black, depending on the type 
of paper used. If you print matte, velvet or watercolor papers, the Epson 
R2400 or R2880 is the better choice, although you may use either Photo 
Black for gloss or semigloss, or Matte Black on matte papers/ 

In general, dye-based inks are better suited for glossy paper, while 
pigment-based inks print better on matte papers/* Using a pigment-based 
printer that provides an additional gloss optimizer can reduce this disad- 

In appendix B we name a few papers we 

tested and liked. Some papers that give a fine 

print for black-and-white printing are listed 

in section B.5. 

Some newer printer drivers no longer 

give the printing resolution in dpi but via 

quality settings like "Photo" "Best Photo" or 

"Maximum dpi". 


There are three categories of costs to consider: 

► The price of the printer 

► Paper costs 

► Operational costs, e.g., for inks, print heads, etc. 

In printing, the price of the printer is often a minor cost. Paper costs vary 
greatly depending on the size, type and brand of paper used and the quan- 
tity you buy. Generally, the price of an Letter/ A4 size page will be $i-$2 and 
for an Leger/A3 size page will be $2-$4 for good-quality fine art paper. 

It's possible to find a cheaper, third-party, in-house paper at Staples or 
Office Max, but you must consider whether they provide profiles for their 
papers, or if they offer a lightfastness statement. Probably not. With papers 
for fine art printing it's best to use inkjet papers from suppliers with a 
proven track record. 

The most expensive part of fine art printing is the ink set . This is true for most 
desktop printers, while large- format printers have large ink cartridges that 
are less expensive per print of a given size. Ink costs per print depend on: 

► The size of your print 

► The type of printer used 

► The resolution used for printing. The higher the resolution chosen, the 
more ink is consumed. Therefore, ensure that the maximum resolution 

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1.8 How to Pick Your Fine Art Printer 


actually achieves a visible improvement. In our experience, resolution 
beyond 2,400 dpi (2,880 dpi for Epson printers) uses up more inks with- 
out noticeably better image quality. Using some printers and papers, you 
may even reduce resolution to 1,200 dpi (1,440 dpi for Epson printers). 

► The kind of paper used. Some papers, to improve image quality, soak up 
more ink than other papers. 

You may slightly reduce ink consumption by avoiding unnecessarily turn- 
ing the printer on and off. Each time you power up the printer, some ink is 
used for nozzle cleaning. However, you should activate the printer from 
time to time, say, once a week, and should clean the nozzles periodically to 
prevent clogging. If you use your printer infrequently, you may even have to 
replace a clogged print head or two, clogged by dried ink. 

If you print often, it may be cost- effective to buy a larger printer (beyond 
the Super Super B/A3+ size), since larger printers often use larger ink car- 
tridges, which are less expensive relative to volume; for example, with the 
Epson R2400 you pay about $i/ml. With the R4800, you only pay about 
$ 0.50/ml ($54/110 ml), or only $ 0.38/ml when using 220-ml cartridges. 

Another way to reduce ink costs is to use third-party inks. For con- 
sumer Letter/ A4-sized printers, there are many brands. Most of them will 
result in poorer lightfastness, but this is not true for all of them. Here, you 
may want to look at tests published by some PC and photo magazines. For 
A3 and larger professional printers, there are fewer offerings, however, 
some inks do offer reasonable quality. 

A potential problem using third-party inks is that you may void your 
printer's warranty. You should clean the print heads thoroughly before 
changing ink brands. For this, there are special cleaning cartridges avail- 
able. For the printers we discuss, there are OEM- compatible replacement 
cartridges that come rebranded. Some are original OEM cartridges refilled 
(ink counters reset). While a few of them are unsuitable for fine art print- 
ing, some companies like Phantone ([76]) or Lyson ([102]) claim high qual- 
ity, good lightfastness, and lower prices. 

A technique offered for many large-scale printers that also may be used for 
some Letter/ A4-sized printers are Continuous Flow Ink Systems (CIS or 
CFS), also called bulk-ink systems. This technique should not be confused 
with the continuous-flow printing technique described on page 16). Here 
the OEM ink cartridge is replaced by a different cartridge that gets ink via a 
tube from a bulk-ink bottle. These systems have two major advantages: 

1. The ink per print or per milliliter is much cheaper than using OEM 
cartridges. For our previous example for the R2400, this is about 
$o.i7/ml with the Mediastreet Niagara II system, 4-ounce (118 ml) or 
8-ounce (236 ml) ink bottles. With larger printers and larger bottles, it 
may be even cheaper. 

2. You may print much longer before replacing ink cartridges. 

For more ink suppliers, see appendix appendix 
D, page 292. 

-> Epson was successful in court, winning a 
case against such companies as Mediastreet, 
and NO companies can sell into this Epson 
market without posting a bond roughly 
equal to the full cost of each cartridge they 
provide. At the moment, all such bulk systems 
intended for the Epson printers have been 
pulled from American markets. 

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1 Printing Techniques 

Panto Rhei continuous flow ink system, here 

used with an Epson printer. 

(But see our note on the previous page.) 

(Courtesy Monochrom Germany) 

* A microchip inside the ink cartridge 

monitors the ink usage. When the normal 

amount of ink is used up the printer will tell 

you to change the ink cartridge. When you 

refill the cartridge, you have to reset the ink 

usage counter of the controlling chip. The 

same is true if you use a bulk ink system 

(continuous ink system). 

A disadvantage is that you make a pre-investment: for the R2400, it would 
be about $ 335 for the Mediastreet system (with filled bottles). If you switch 
inks, e.g., Photo Black to Matte Black, you waste a lot of ink to clean out the 
tubes. Additionally, you must use auto-reset chips to fool the printer or car- 
tridge.* Also, you can't use the OEM original ICC profiles, and will need 
profiles for the new ink. If you print a lot, this could be a minor problem. 
Some ink suppliers offer ICC profiles for their ink and various common fine 
art papers. 

Now, how about lightfastness? Here again, you will find some ink 
manufacturers (e.g. Lyson), that refer to tests done by WIR ([20]). 

More Points to Consider 

There are a few other points you may want to consider when selecting an 
inkjet printer: 

Printer Interface 

Some years ago, the standard interface for PC printers was the parallel port 
(Centronics or IEEE 1284) or serial format for Macs. This, fortunately, was 
replaced by USB 1.1 and more recently by USB 2.0 for most desktop printers. 
Some printers include an additional Firewire (IEEE 1394) interface. This 
could be an advantage when connecting the printer to two systems. Most 
large-scale printers also have a local area network (LAN) interface. The LAN 
is useful if you want to print from several systems in a local network. A 
small, low-cost print-server with a USB interface to the printer will achieve 
the same end and may be cheaper than an optional printer LAN interface. 
Some printers even provide a WLAN interface (more often called WiFi), 
though we have not yet encountered them with fine art printers. 

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1.8 How to Pick Your Fine Art Printer 


PostScript RIP 

Most desktop inkjet printers use their own proprietary printer language, 
and most printers additionally support HP's HPCL. In some cases, it is an 
advantage if the printer also supports PostScript, e.g., to print DTP docu- 
ments. Most fine art printer manufacturers, however, do not consider this 
necessary, at least not for printing raster images like photos. With inkjet 
printers, an integrated PostScript RIP will add about $ 150 to the basic 
printer price. If you need PostScript printing only occasionally, you may use 
a software PostScript RIP in your PC. With Mac OS X, a software-based 
PostScript RIP comes with GIMP Print, and also with OS 10.4 preinstalled. 
With Windows, you may use the free public domain version of GhostScript. 

A RIP (raster image processor) is a software 
component in a printing system which 
produces a raster image (bitmap) from a 
vector graphic or from text. 

Exchangeable Print heads 

In some printers, usually consumer inkjet printers (e.g., by HP), the print 
head is part of the ink cartridge. This makes cartridges somewhat more 
expensive. When the nozzles of a head are clogged beyond repair, simply 
replace the cartridge and the problem is solved. With most Epson printers, 
you can't easily replace the print head, but must send the printer out for 
repair/ With some HP printers, e.g., the DesignJet 130, the ink cartridge and 
print head are separate, and you may easily replace a print head with a new 
one. It's definitely an advantage when you can easily pull out the print head 
and clean it outside the printer, using a hot damp cloth or even some alco- 

* For Letter/A4-sized printers, it is cheaper to 
buy a new printer. 


On large-scale printers, a paper roll feeder is standard. For these printers, it is 
an advantage when the printer has an automatic paper cutter. Many of the 
default cutters on large-format printers, however, are not suited for heavy 
paper. For heavy paper you may have to replace them with cutters available 
as optional accessories. 

Densitometers and Spectrophotometers 

Some printers have an integrated densitometer that allows measurement of 
the density of color laid down on paper. This allows the firmware of the 
printer to recognize clogged nozzles, and may also help auto -calibrate the 
printer. HP uses this technique in some of its inkjet printers, e.g., HP 
Photosmart Pro B9100 and B8850 and Canon in some if its imagePROGRAF 
line. Be aware that this is not a substitute for a true profiling device. Better 
than a densitometer is a spectrophotometer, allowing you to measure the 
precise color of a color patch. This allows an easy generation of a color profile 
(ICC profile).** HP, for instance, integrated a spectrophotometer in its 3100 
and 6100 line of fine art printers. This is an optimal solution - provided the 
software for the profiling comes along with the printer. 

** How to profile a printer and use a 
spectrophotometer is described in section 3.1 

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Camera: Nikon DiX 

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Inks, Papers, and Print 

With photographic prints, paper, ink and the compatibility 
of these two materials are important keys to a good quality 
print - assuming you have a good image. You cant actually 
discuss fine art printing without discussing fine art papers 
and the right inks for them. For this reason, in this chapter 
we want to go deeper into inks (for inkjet printers) and 
papers, and what to watch for, so that these two important 
components match. 

Fine art papers are indeed a hot discussion theme when 
fine art printers meet - and that discussion is virtually end- 
less. A fine art paper not only should work smoothly with 
the type of ink used, but also should be appropriate for the 
photographic subject printed. A print of a landscape may 
ask for a different paper than a portrait and a product shoot 
may ask for yet another paper to achieve the optimal visual 
impression. Additionally, personal preferences have to be 
taken into account. 

Another issue with inks and papers are the longevity of 
prints that can be achieved using a certain printer-ink- 
paper combination. This chapter should answer most ques- 
tions on this. 

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2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

2.1 Print Permanence 

* Naturally, there are a number of other 

institutes that do the same and should be 

considered, e.g., the Rochester Imaging 

Permanence Institute [18]. However, it is widely 

accepted that Wilhelm Imaging Research 

defines the standard in the fine art printing 


Whether you sell or give away your prints, print permanence (print longev- 
ity) is important. It is determined by three major factors: 

► Stability and permanence of the paper 

► Permanence of the ink (its colorants). Additionally ink and paper must 
match and work smoothly together. 

► Environmental factors, such as light (especially UV), temperature, 
humidity, and gases (especially ozone) 

The permanence of a digital image is limited only by the permanence of the 
digital storage media, whether hard disk, CD/DVD or tape. You may extend 
this range by making a copy of the data on newer media. You must still be 
cautious to ensure that your media can still be read by your computer hard- 
ware and operating system, and that your printing application still supports 
the data format used to produce your prints. In most cases, this will be years 
in the future. Permanence, in this case, means that you can read the data 
without unrecoverable errors, and can open the data for displaying, printing 
or modification. 

When you make a print of an image, its permanence may range from 
four weeks to many years. Here, permanence means that the print will 
maintain its visual impact without noticeable deterioration, and that col- 
ors do not fade and the paper does not yellow. 

This definition of print permanence has two subjective factors: 

► What is a noticeable image deterioration"? 

► What are the conditions under which the print is kept? 

Until mid 2006, there was neither an ANSI nor an ISO standard for print 
permanence - at least not for the kinds of prints we are talking about. Most 
suppliers of printers, inks and papers state a "permanence" value for their 
materials, without actually defining how they calculate their "permanence." 
However, in the community of fine art printers, there is a quasi- standard 
currently defined by the Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc (WIR, [20]). This 
organization, founded by Henry Wilhelm and his wife Carol Brower 
Wilhelm, is one of the most widely recognized and established institutes for 
the testing of print permanence and lightfastness, and is highly regarded for 
being independent and unbiased. Most serious manufacturers of compo- 
nents for fine art printing (e. g., HP, Epson, and Canon ) use WIR to obtain 
permanence tests/ You will find a large number of results for various papers 
and inks (and paper/ink-combinations) at their Web site, xx 

They use a well-defined test procedure for their permanence tests of 
prints, and continually update their tests, considering additional factors 
that affect fading, e. g., air pollutants. 

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2.1 Print Permanence 


'Display Permanence Ratings'' are Predictions 

When we talk about the display permanence ratings (DPR) of digital fine art 
prints, we look for and talk of a permanence of at least 25 years. By using 
adequate fine art papers and inks, you may achieve a permanence of 60-100 
years and perhaps even longer. For black-and-white prints, this figure may 
be 160 years or more. The difference lies in color- ink colorants being more 
prone to fading than those used for black inks. 

To date, all data on permanence are based on accelerated lab tests and 
predictions. Prints are exposed to much brighter light (about 20,000 Lux) 
and at higher temperatures than found in a common exhibition or office 
environment. The results are then extrapolated, based on years of experi- 
ence. Nonetheless, the true accuracy of these results will not be known for 
another hundred or so years. 

For exhibition conditions, WIR assumes an average light level of 450 
lux for 12 hours a day. They also assume that the print is displayed behind 
(normal) glass and displayed at 75 ° F (24 C) and 60% relative humidity (RH). 

Fine art printers should not necessarily rely on these conditions when 
looking at a data sheet, as not all suppliers use the test conditions specified 
by WIR. Read a manufacturer's claims carefully. Kodak, for one, seems to 
use two different types of tests: one for consumer materials, and another 
for professional materials, although there is no information about which 
papers Kodak rates as consumer or professional. The data resulting from 
these two tests differ by up to a factor of five, mostly because they use 120 
lux/12 hours per day testing consumer material versus 450 lux testing pro- 
fessional material, and assume a UV filter will be used when displaying the 
print. The reality is that most tests use a standard glass filter, which absorbs 
much less UV light. 

Some of the permanence ratings Canon provides are for darkroom or 
album storage. The decrease in print quality in darkroom storage is much 
slower than that in a lighted office environment. Only the fine print describes 
a given permanence as darkroom storage permanence. What good is long 
darkroom permanence if you want to hang your prints in an office or stu- 
dio environment? 

There are several environmental factors influencing the permanence 
of prints, and not all are yet fully understood or evaluated. Some of the 
well-known factors are: 

See figure 2-7 on page page 30 for some 
examples ofWiR ratings. 

We have seen fading in prints made with 
Canon dye-based inks and papers, specified 
to have a print permanence of about 100 
years, in less than four weeks when presented 
in a well-lit office environment. 

► Ink 

► Paper 

► Paper-to-ink match 

► Light, especially UV, which causes the most fading 

► Temperature: the higher, the more damaging 

► Relative humidity: the higher, the more damaging 

► Gases: ozone is now considered one of the most degrading factors in an 
"office environment"; sulphur gases are also known to be destructive. 

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30 2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

WWW.Wilhelm-research.COm Category: 4x6-inch Printers Updated July 3, 2005 (page 1 of 5) 

WIR Display Permanence Ratings for Current 
Products in the 4x6-inch Photo Printer Category 

WIR v3.0 Endpoints at Both 1.0 and 0.6 Densities 

Type of 4x6-inch Dye-Sub Photo Printer, Inkjet Printer/Inkjet Paper, with cool white Fluorescent illumination and 

... . . ~.. .; .. ~ . - ,_. . .... ... J. _ . m Years of Display Based on 450 lux/12 hrs/day 

And Digital Silver-Hahde Color Paper/Digital Mmilab Photo Printer 11 ' with Prints Framed under Giass (2) 

1. Epson Picture Mate Personal Photo Lab (and new PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition) 104 years 

- Printed with Epson PictureMate Inks and Photo Paper (pigment-based inkjet prints) 

2. HP PhotoSmart 325, 335, 375, 385, 422, and 475 Compact Photo Printers 82 years (3) 

- Printed with HP Vivera Inks (HP 95, 97, 343, or 344 Tri-color cartridges) (dye-based inkjet prints) 
With HP Premium Plus and HP Premium Photo Papers, High Gloss, Glossy, or Soft Gloss 

3. Canon Selphy DS700 Compact Photo Printer (dye-based inkjet prints) 41 years 

- Printed with Canon BCI-1 6 tricolor ink cartridge and Canon Photo Paper Pro PR-101 

4. Fujicolor Crystal Archive Type One Paper (silver-haiide color prints) 40 years 

- Printed with Fuji Frontier 370 digital minilab and Fuji washless chemicals 

5. Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock, Plus, Series 3, and 6000 Printers (dye-sub prints) 26 years 

6. Dell Photo Printer 540 (dye-sub prints) 26 years 

7. Agfacolor Sensatis and Agfacolor Splendix Papers (silver-haiide color prints) 22 years (4) 

- Printed with Agfa d-lab.2plus/Select digital minilab and Agfa washless chemicals 

8. Kodak Edge Generations and Royal Generations Papers (silver-haiide color prints) 19 years (5) 

- Printed with Noritsu QSS-301 1SM digital minilab and Kodak washless chemicals 

9. HP PhotoSmart 145 and 245 Compact Photo Printers (dye-based inkjet prints) 18 years 

- Printed using HP No. 57 Tri-color cartridge with 

HP Premium Plus and HP Premium Photo Papers, High Gloss, Glossy, or Soft Gloss 

- Printed with HP No. 57 Tri-color cartridge and 1 1 years (6) 
Kodak Ultima Picture Paper, High Gloss (Ultima ColorLast "Lasts Over 100 Years" version) 

10. Konica Minolta QA Paper Impresa and Centuria For Digital (silver-haiide color prints) 17 years 00 

- Printed with Konica Minolta R2 Super 1000 digital minilab and Konica washless chemicals 

1 1 . Lexmark Snapshot P31 5 Photo Jetprinter (dye-based inkjet prints) 1 6 years 

- Printed with Lexmark 33 or 35 color ink cartridges and Lexmark Premium Photo Paper 

12. Olympus P-10 Digital Photo Printer (dye-sub prints) 8 years 

13. Canon CP-200, CP-220, CP-330, CP400, and CP500 Printers (dye-sub prints) 7 years 

14. Sony DPP-FP30 PictureStation Photo Printer (dye-sub prints) 6 years 

15. Sony DPP-EX5, DPP-EX7, and DPP-EX50 Printers (dye-sub prints) 4 years 

©2005 by Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. As long as this document remains complete and unaltered, it may be freely distributed to 
your associates, customers, and friends. This PDF may also be reproduced in magazine articles, books, and other hardcopy print 
publications; however, it may not be posted on websites without written permission. Links to < > are welcome. 
Address e-mail inquiries to: <> Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc., P.O. Box 775, Grinnell, Iowa 501 12 U.S.A. 

.... continues next page 
This document originated at <> File name: <WIR_4x6_Prints_2005_07_03.pdf> 

Figure 2-1: Some permanence ratings by WIR (Courtesy of Wilhelm Imaging Research Inc, [20]). See [21] for the complete and 
original document. 

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2.1 Print Permanence 


Light as a Factor of Print Permanence 

Light is one of the most important factors in determining the permanence 
of prints/ The more light your prints absorb, the faster their colors (colo- 
rants) degenerate. More specifically, the quantity, duration, and wavelength 
of that light striking the print all determine the level of degradation of a 
print. Shorter wavelengths in the visible spectrum have a greater effect than 
longer wavelengths. UV light has a higher energy and higher destructive 
effect (see figure 2-2). Direct unfiltered sun has a very high degree of UV in 
its spectrum. For this reason, fine art prints should never be exposed to direct 

* provided you use well-matched, reliable, 
stable inks and paper 



u 8 


"3 A 









ole light 

— > 

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 

900 1000 lux A 200 300 400 500 600 700 nm 

Figure 2-2: 

Influence of the light on light fading 
(Note: the right diagram is a very 
rough approximation, and the scale 
is logarithmic). 

Not all ink colors fade at the same rate. With most pigmented inks, yellow 
fades less and slower than other colors. This difference may lead to stronger 
color shifts and changes in contrast than if all colors faded at the same rate. 
Usually, there is a shift from red and green to yellow, and from neutral (built 
with CMYK) to a reddish hue. 

Temperature Influencing "Dark Fading" 

When storing (archiving) prints for an extended 
time, temperature is a critical factor. Its influ- 
ence is termed thermal degradation or dark 
fade, as this fading also occurs when prints are 
stored in the dark. From our chemistry classes, 
we may recall that higher temperature acceler- 
ates chemical processes, and image decay is 
mainly a chemical process. Figure 2-3 illustrates 
that temperature is a dominant factor in image 
degradation when stored in the dark. 

Temperature also influences images in the 
light, but the light factor is dominant. Please 
note the linear X-axis (temperature), and the 
logarithmic Y-axis (longevity factor). 




1 n ■ 


1.0 ■ 




-30° C -20° -10° 0°C 10° 20° 30° C 

Figure 2-3: Permanence factor relative to temperature. (Diagram derived from data 
published by Monocrom [106]) 

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2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 



q 0.5 




30% 45% 

Relative humidity 

Figure 2-4: Permanence factor in relation 

to air humidity (diagram derived from data 

published byMonochrom [106]) 


Relative humidity will influence the longevity of a print as well, though not 
as strongly as temperature. The higher the relative humidity, the shorter the 
life of a print (figure 2-4). 

Even if relative air humidity is not dominant, humidity above a certain 
level, around 80 %, may lead to fungal decay which in turn may quickly and 
seriously damage your prints. Note that when the temperature in a room 
drops, relative humidity rises. 

Gases and Their Influence on Print Permanence 

Several atmospheric gases strongly affect print permanence. Ozone appears 
to have the strongest negative effect. Generated by unfiltered sun, as well as 
by some machines, ozone accelerates oxidation and, as such, the decay of 
colors. Ozone is also a bleaching agent. 

Framing a print with glass, acrylic (e.g., Plexiglas), an UV-absorbing 
foil or other coating decreases air flow, and hence fresh ozone, over a print. 
The more U V light in your environment, the more ozone you will probably 
have, as UV light stimulates the production of ozone. Also, some electric 
engines like laser printers, photocopying machines, air-conditioners, and 
refrigerators produce ozone. 

As ozone decreases in the upper atmosphere, especially near polar 
regions, the UV level at the earth's surface increases, generating even more 
ozone at the surface. 

Other atmospheric gases also have a negative effect on the longevity of 
prints; for example, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) are 
suspected of yellowing paper. While their overall effect is not fully under- 
stood, it does appear to be less than that of ozone. 

When optical brighteners breakdown, the 

paper loses its whiteness and the color of the 

print shifts a bit due to the more yellowish 

paper color. 

Paper Additives 

Additives to paper can also influence the light stability of a print; for exam- 
ple, optical brighteners, mainly used to make paper appear whiter, can have 
a negative effect on photo-fading, as their chemical half-life is rather short 
(a few years). 

These brighteners also may have a negative effect when doing ICC pro- 
filing, so we recommend avoiding papers with a high degree of optical 
brighteners. We will go a bit more into optical brighteners on page 40. 

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2.1 Print Permanence 


How to Improve the Permanence of Your Prints 

All things considered, the optimum recipe for maintaining your prints and 
their colorants as long as possible is very simple: keep them dark, cool, and 
dry. For most situations, none of these is practical when prints are to be 
displayed prominently There are several ways to improve print perma- 

► Framing using a glass or acrylic cover 

A covering reduces gas flow and has a filtering effect on UV light. It also 
helps protect a print from dust and dirt, and may resist large changes in 

Standard glass or standard acrylic decreases the amount of UV 
light striking an image by reflecting or absorbing some of the light. 
Even normal window glass reduces UV light by up to 90 %. Using spe- 
cial glass, as some museums do, you can achieve a reduction of up to 
99 % or more. There are also foils on the market, though quite expen- 
sive, that absorb about 99% of the UV light. 

► Spraying/coating 

Standard glass adds to reflections and is not always suitable for some 
types of presentations. To protect a print from UV light, ozone and 
soiling, you may apply protective material over a print, using either a 
spray or brush. There are many solutions available, but only a few carry 
a certificate from one of the well known institutes (e.g. WIR). 

► Reducing UV light 

Since UV light has the most damaging effect on print permanence, you 
can reduce it by using appropriate lighting that limits the amount of 
UV. Interestingly, unfiltered fluorescent light has a higher UV share 
than tungsten light. You also can cover the light source with special foil 
or glass, the latter of which can absorb about 99 % of UV light. These 
foils, properly applied, are hardly visible, but may change the surface 
appearance of the print slightly. Additionally, these foils are not cheap. 

► Laminating 

Lamination is similar to coating: protecting a print from UV light, 
ozone, dust, and other undesirable materials. An advantage of some 
lamination techniques is that both sides of the print are protected, pro- 
viding greater protection. 

For more on framing, post-coating and 
lamination see section 8.5 and 8.6. 

According to some reports, these foils tend to 
shrink over time (noticeable only after three 
to four years). 

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34 2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

2.2 Inks 

High-quality prints have two important items in common: good inks and 
good paper, both of which allow the longevity of your artwork. Inkjet print- 
ers have been around for almost 25 years. Prints from the earliest printers 
showed noticeable degradation within a few weeks, or even within a few 
days when exposed to sunlight. In 2001, Epson became one of the first com- 
panies to address this problem, with reasonably priced inkjet printers and 
an acceptable image lightfastness, using UltraChrome® ink. In 2005, Epson 
introduced its third generation of this pigment-based type of ink (Ultra- 
Chrome K3) and updated it in 2007 with some printers by replacing its 
magenta ink with Vivid Magenta. 

Desktop and larger fine art inkjet printers use two types of inks: 

► Dye based 

► Pigment based 

You may even see some hybrid inks, where dye-based ink is used for colors 
to achieve a large gamut, while pigment-based ink is used to create a dark, 
dense, saturated black and better longevity; Canon does this with some 
printers. Some publications use the term pigmented inks to refer to hybrid 
inks. In this book, the term describes true inks with solid pigment. 

Each of these two types of inks has specific advantages and drawbacks. 
HP achieved a very respectable longevity of about 70-200 years even with 
Dye-based inks tend to have general its dye-based Vivera® inks*(but now also offers printers, which use pig- 
problems with lightfastness. mented inks), while Epson managed to achieve a rich color gamut with its 
third generation of pigment-based DURABrite® and UltraChrome® inks. 
Pigment-based inks tend to provide a smaller gamut. In reality, with desk- 
top printers, you normally have no choice between dye-based and pigment- 
based inks for a particular printer: they are either one or the other. With 
some higher-end, large-format printers, different types of inks maybe used 
on the same printer. 

Dye-Based Inks 

With dye-based inks, the colorants are water soluble and are dissolved in the 
ink liquid. Thus, when hitting the paper, they sink into the paper or its coat- 
ing, while a small portion remains on the surface. This makes dye-based 
inks well suited for glossy paper, but they are equally well-suited for matte 
papers. When the liquid dries, the colorants attach to the fibers of the paper 
or particles of the coating. To prevent excessive bleeding and mixing with 
neighboring color points, in general, a coated paper may be used (see section 
2.3). To give the print maximum vividness, its coating should be transpar- 
ent. As the ink penetrates the paper surface or coating, dye-based inks 
deliver better scratch resistance than pigmented inks. 

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2.2 Inks 


Compared to the colorants in pigmented ink, the particles in dye ink 
are much finer, up to a factor of 1,000. As dye-based inks contain a higher 
percentage of liquid (mostly water), they dry more slowly Also, such prints 
are more prone to smudging when coming in contact with moisture or 
when touched by a moist finger. A microporous coating (or other special 
sizing) can compensate for both of these effects. 

The disadvantage of these tiny dye particles is that they have a larger 
surface open to attack by light and air contamination, like ozone, NO2, and 
SO2, leading to faster fading. To reduce this effect, HP and other printer- 
makers recommend using swellable papers for optimum print permanence." 

Most desktop inkjet printers and many large-format printers today use 
dye-based inks. Most HP and Canon printers, for instance, use dye-based 
inks. Since 2006, however, both manufacturers also offer printer lines that 
use pigmented inks. 

Dye-based inks are cheaper to produce than pigment ink and are less 
prone to print-head clogging. Even if the print-head is clogged, it cleans 
more easily (with a moist Q-tip or a damp tissue) than the heads of pig- 
mented-ink machines. Even if the colorants in the ink should settle down 
in the ink cartridge after some time, they will be re-suspended when the 
ink cartridge is shaken. 

Dye-based inks tend to provide a richer color gamut, more vivid colors 
and a darker black than pigmented inks, although newer formulations of 
pigment inks are gaining some ground. 

See section 2.3 for more on this. 

-> For fine art prints we recommend using 

Pigmented Inks 

In pigmented inks, the color stems from pigments, comparatively large col- 
ored material that consists of a tightly coupled conglomerate of colored 
particles. A single particle of pigment is about 1,000 times the size of a 
particle of dye used in dye-based inks, and thus produces several advantages 
over dye-based inks: the pigment has a relatively small surface and, thus, is 
more resistant to light, water/moisture, and air pollutants. Pigment inks 
better resist damage from light, moisture, gases, and temperature. 

The downside of pigments is their somewhat reduced color intensity, 
compared to dyes, and that they poorly suspend in the ink. Thus, there is a 
tendency to settle at the bottom of the ink cartridge, similar to sand in a 
very slow-moving river. You can stir them up but, after some time, they 
sink down once more.** 

Also, pigment-based inks tend to show a stronger bronzing effect than 
dye-based inks. Here, dark or black areas show a slight color of bronze 
under some lighting. Similar pigment-based inks show a stronger tendency 
toward metamerism, where two colors look identical under one lighting 
situation, but look different viewed in a different lighting situation. 

When used in an inkjet printer, most of the pigmented ink will settle on 
the surface of the paper and not penetrate the paper (or its coating) to the 

** The cartridges of pigmented ink should 
consequently be thoroughly shaken (while 
closed and packed) before inserting a new 
ink cartridge into the printer. What's more, 
the ink should be used up within about six 
months. Pigmented-ink cartridges are prone 
to clogging. 

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2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

pigment ink layer dye-based ink layer 


paper paper 

Figure 2-5: Fhe dye particles ore much smaller 

than pigments. Pigments diffuse and scatter 

light more than dyes. 

same degree as dye-based ink. As the pigment sits mainly on the surface of 
the paper, the print is more prone to abrasion than are dye-based inks. On 
the other hand, pigment ink dries faster than dye-based ink, since pigment 
ink uses less solvent. With pigment ink, your choice of paper is somewhat 
expanded, as you may use coated or uncoated paper (uncoated paper is prone 
to ink bleeding and a large dot gain), and swellable or porous coatings. 

Because pigments mainly reside on a paper's surface, the gloss of a 
color depends on the quantity of ink/pigment used in the various areas of 
the print, resulting potentially in an uneven gloss. Additionally, pigments 
give a more dispersed reflection (see figure 2-5). For this reason, pigment 
ink is better suited for matte or semi-matte surfaces than to glossy paper. 
You might compensate for this by post-applying an additional gloss coat- 
ing if gloss is desired. Epson offers this in its R800/R1800 printers by using 
a separate gloss optimizer cartridge. 

Pigmented inks, when combined with the optimum paper, have a very 
long lifespan, based on their better light stability, gas resistance, and tem- 
perature fastness. Additionally, there is less tendency of prints to smudge 
when touched with moist fingers or a high moisture content. Taken 
together, pigmented inks are excellent for stable, long-lasting fine art prints. 
With its new DURABrite™ and UltraChrome K3™ inks, Epson shows that 
you now can produce a richer color gamut and achieve a higher maximum 
density (Dmax) in a print. 

Since 2006, both HP and Canon added printer lines using pigmented 
inks to their list of fine art products, thus also competing in the fine art and 
high-quality photo printing markets. 

The overall quality of both types of ink has improved considerably 
over the past few years. The lightfastness of dye-based inks has improved 
considerably, and the color gamut of pigment inks also has increased. The 
tendency toward bronzing and metamerism with pigment-based ink has 
been considerably reduced, especially by Epson. The total color gamut 
achievable with inkjets is ultimately improved by better inks and the use of 
more primary colors. 

2.3 Papers 

Paper is an ancient, well- studied material. First produced in China, and 
mass-produced over the past 600 years in the western world, we inherited a 
long and rich tradition of paper making. There are several paper makers 
today, whose companies date back several centuries. Since 1584, Hahnemuehle 
has been one of the best known German paper makers for fine art. 

Most of the time, we are unaware of the stability or longevity of paper, 
but concentrate on its color, surface texture, and the color gamut we can 
achieve printing on it. For fine art printing, however, we must consider two 
other items: 

Downloaded from: 

2.3 Papers 37 

► Longevity and lightfastness of the paper itself 

(it should neither disintegrate nor yellow within a certain time) 

► Suitability of the paper for the ink used 

(the paper must absorb ink without the ink bleeding excessively, drying 
too quickly or warping. With dye-based inks, it must protect the ink 
from ozone and other atmospheric pollutants) 

The longevity of the paper is largely determined by the ingredients in the 
paper and how it's stored: 

► The stability and constitution of the paper. Today, if you use chloride-free, 
acid- free papers, this is not an issue. The paper will remain stable for hun- 
dreds of years, if stored under appropriate conditions. 

► The paper should not noticeably change color over the period of time 
considered, i.e., it should not yellow. One precondition for this is that it 
be lignin-free and not contain an overabundance of optical brighten- 

For fine art printing, in most cases, special fine art papers should be consid- 
ered. Fine art paper for inkjet printing is almost always specially coated for 
printing (figure 2-6). 

I coating ^^ ^ ^ | Figure 2-6. 

substrate substrate 

standard office paper (uncoated) coated paper for inkjet printing 

The coating prevents the ink from bleeding 

Thus, paper consists of a base material (substrate) and a coating (and/or 
sizing) that ensures that the ink is properly absorbed by the paper and dries 
quickly. Additionally, the coating must prevent the ink from bleeding exces- 
sively (figure 2-6). This permits higher- resolution printing and finer color 

Paper Characteristics 

There are many characteristics of a good fine art paper: 

► the raw material used to produce the paper 

► coating (influencing absorbency): single or double sided 

► color (whiteness and brightness) and opacity 

► base weight and paper thickness 

► surface texture (finish) 

► size 

The technical part of a technical data sheet might look like the following 
example, extracted from specifications of Hahnemuehle Photo Rag: 

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2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

Table zi : 

Data sheet of a typical fine art paper 
(here, Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 188) 

Physical Characteristics (Hahnemuehle Photo Rag™, 188 g/m 2 ) 

Test Conditions 




Media Color 


Water resistance 


Ink limit 

Special features 



Test Norm / Notes 

23 C / 50% RH 


g/m 2 





EN 20534 



ISO 11475 (W cie /D6 5 ,2°) 



DIN 53146 


not bleached 


DIN 53124 

very high 


EN 20535 



optical brighteners 

Data shown are average values. 

Paper Ingredients 

-> Rag (or cotton) as well as wood is primarily 

built up of cellulose. These two base materials 

of paper, however, use different kinds of 

cellulose The cellulose from wood and similar 

plants is called "alpha cellulose". 

The raw-material composition of a paper largely determines its overall qual- 
ity, plus its behavior for printing, display and storage. With fine papers for 
inkjet printing, there are at least two layers: the paper base and a coating 
applied onto this base. The top layer is also called the ink reception layer or 
inkjet receptive layer. Both its layers and its raw materials are important in 
giving a paper its characteristics. Here, we specifically focus on papers excel- 
lent for fine art prints. There are two basic kinds of raw materials: cotton 
(rag) fibers and wood cellulose fibers, and any combination of the two. Thus 
you may have rag paper, half-rag paper, wood-free, and wood-containing 
paper. Today, only few real rags are used, mostly raw cotton, even if a paper's 
name implies otherwise. 

There are many other ingredients in the paper to give it the desired 
color, surface feel, pH, absorbance, and finish, yet cotton/rag or cellulose 
from wood remain the two basic ingredients. 

Rag paper may contain up to 100 % cotton or linen fiber and is the most 
expensive paper. But one may mix cotton/rag with wood cellulose in almost 
any combination to reduce cost. For high quality, cotton/linen-based paper 
is the better paper, but some new formulations of wood cellulose-based 
paper can achieve about the same longevity as rag/cotton paper. 

Cellulose is mainly produced from wood, but there are other plants, 
like hemp, also used for cellulose production. Wood pulp contains a lot of 

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2.3 Papers 


lignin, which causes low-quality papers to yellow, and works as a kind of 
glue in the cellulose cell. For good-quality papers, lignin, or lignen, must 
be removed during the pulping process. 

To differentiate between cotton paper and mainly wood cellulose-based 
paper, sometimes the term alpha cellulose paper is used for the latter. Also 
the term sulphite or sulphite paper is used for this paper, as the wood pulp 
is cooked in sodium sulphite or in calcium bisulphate. 

Whatever the raw material may be, it is important that the paper is 
acid-free, meaning it has a pH-value of 7.0 or greater, up to a certain pH. 
Previously, 7.0-8.5 pH was considered optimal for archival papers. New 
findings now indicate a range of 7.0-10.0 pH. A pH of 7.5-9.0 seems ideal 
and provides a buffer for acids absorbed from acidic air pollutants. The 
latter are also referred to as buffered papers. This buffering is often achieved 
by addition of calcium carbonate. 

Whiteness and Brightness 

The whiter a paper is, the higher the contrast of colors in your print and the 
richer the color gamut. For this reason, photographers prefer bright white 
papers. Since the base material for paper is not bright white, paper manufac- 
turers must use some tricks to achieve proper whiteness. This is especially 
true when the coating is transparent. If you look at the numerous variations 
of fine art papers, you will find a very wide range of shades of white, from a 
bluish bright white to a "natural" white, i.e., a tint of yellow or beige, to ivory 
or creamy white. 

There are several techniques to improve whiteness and brightness of 
paper, e.g., bleaching. Even white colorants are added to the paper base 
material. Additionally, optical brighteners may be added, partly to com- 
pensate for possible color variations in different paper batches. You will see 
optical brighteners even in well-known fine art papers like the Photo Rag 
by Hahnemuehle. 

Technically, brightness is a percent of light reflection and ranges from 
o (or 1) to 100 %. Multipurpose bond paper used for copying machines has a 
brightness value in the 80s, while the brightness of most fine art paper is 
90.0-98.5 %. Ideally, the paper would reflect all colors equally well. This, 
however, is not the case. Another desirable paper property is a good, homo- 
geneous reflectance across the spectrum of visible light (see figure 2-7). 

Most papers look very white when viewed alone. The true color becomes 
visible when compared to other white surfaces, e.g., that of a matte or white 

When you choose a paper, you should consider the subject you want 
reproduced in your print. For most portraits, for example, bright white is 
not advisable. The same is true for most landscape subjects. So, if high 
brightness is not important or necessary, you may be able to use a paper 
free of optical brighteners. 



Mr-^i\j**.i ■* ]l 

Figure 2-7: llford Golerie Gold paper shows a 
very homogeneous reflectance. 

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2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

Optical Brighteners 

-> For some more information on OBAs 

and how to see if a paper contains OBAs see 

appendix B (page 267). 

-> There are two ways to handle the influence 

of brighteners in ICC profiling packages. They 

either use a UV filter attached in front of the 

spectrophotometer or they recognize the 

brightener effect in software and deal with it in 

software (e.g., the latter is done in ProfiieMaker 

by GretagMacbeth). 






■■■■* *■ l> 

Figure 2-8: A reflectance beyond 1.0 

(as shown here) is a clear indicator that the 

paper contains optical brightening additives. 

This measurement was done using BabelColor 

and an ii-Pro spectrophotometer. 

Optical brighteners, or optical brightening agents (OBA) in paper are used to 
remove any yellow appearance caused by other raw materials. Additionally, 
optical brighteners increase the brightness of a paper, thus increasing the 
maximum contrast in a print, and enlarging the color gamut. They also 
increase the reflectivity of a (white) paper. Most optical brighteners are 
fluorescent brighteners. They absorb light in the UV range and re-emit 
white light in the visible range, tending slightly toward blue. 

There are some disadvantages to optical brighteners: a spectrophotom- 
eter may give inaccurate results when measuring colors for ICC profiling, 
leading to incorrect ICC profiles. More importantly, brighteners deteriorate 
faster than (good) ink colors. This may lead to a gradual color shift in the 
print. Usually a paper manufacturer will provide a note when an optical 
brightener is contained in a digital fine art paper. Unfortunately, the amount 
of optical brightener may vary somewhat among batches of paper. There are 
different- quality brighteners: better ones deteriorate more slowly. Papers 
using fluorescent-based optical brighteners can lose some of their bright- 
ness and whiteness when the light source has little or no UV light, or when 
UV filters are used. 

For these reasons, if long-term image permanence is an important issue, 
fluorescent brighteners should be minimized or avoided altogether. 

You may test a paper for optical brighteners by viewing the paper in the 
dark using a UV light source. If brighteners are present, the OBAs will glow 
under UV. 

Paper Weight and Paper Thickness 

7 mils = 0.0254 mm 
1 mm ~ 39.4 mils 

The weight of a paper is given in either grams per square meter (gsm or 
g/m 2 ) or in pounds (lbs) per 500 sheets (ream) of a specific size. We consider 
gsm better for comparison as it is independent of the paper size. For fine art 
printing, a heavier paper usually is preferred, as it gives your print rigidity 
and a more substantial feel. A standard office copy paper measures about 
80-120 gsm, and traditional low-cost photo paper is about 120-150 gsm. We 
prefer papers of 230 gsm or heavier. 

A second measurement to look for is actual paper thickness, or caliper, 
as not all paper has the same weight per square meter. This measurement 
is either given in millimeters (mm) or in mils (a thousandth of an inch). 
Photo paper is usually 7-10 mils (approximately 0.18-0.25 mm), typical 
fine art papers 10-35 m ils (0.25-0.90 mm). 

Using thick papers, you may have to manually assist the printer in 
feeding the paper, or perhaps use a straight paper path and set special 
options in the printer driver (e.g., see figure 5-5, page 139). Using lighter 
papers, on the other hand, you may have to reduce the amount of ink to 
prevent warping (e.g., see page 139). 

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2.3 Papers 


Paper Coating 

For inkjet printing, paper may be uncoated, like bond paper used for laser 
printers and photocopying machines, or coated. Traditionally, many fine art 
papers used for painting or drawing are uncoated, and thus have a very fine 
surface. Though you may use these papers also for inkjet printing, as men- 
tioned before, for true fine art prints you should use coated paper. The coat- 
ing may also affect the surface finish of the paper, e.g., to be more matte, 
satin or glossy. There are several different types of coatings: 

► Microporous 

► Swellable 

► Resin Coated (RC) 

Microporous coating • Here, the coating consists of a fine layer of ceramic 
(inorganic, inert particles) material ground to fine powder. The ink sinks 
into the cavities of this layer and is thus absorbed quickly with minimal 
spread. Ink printed on this kind of paper dries very quickly. This coating 
provides good water resistance. Unfortunately, the open areas of the coating 
allow dye-based colorants of the ink to come in contact with air-contami- 
nants and thus these gases accelerate deterioration processes of the ink (fig- 
ure 2-9). For this reason, microporous papers are not the best choice for 
dye-based inks when print longevity is essential. 


^encapsulated dye'So layer 

OOuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuOO ' 



— blocking layer 


dye coating particle 

With pigmented inks, it is best to use microporous papers. They dry very 
quickly and produce sharp images. Pigmented inks do not sink in like dye- 
based inks, leaving the pigments on the surface. 

Swellable papers • As their name implies, the coating is made of material 
(polymers) that swells in the presence of moisture, i.e., when the inks hits 
the paper. The coating absorbs the ink and allows the colorants to penetrate 
the top layer of the coating. The encapsulating layer below encloses the 
colorants (dyes), leaving only minor parts of the dye on top of the paper 
(where it is exposed to light and gases). With swellable papers, you usually 
have a four-layer paper: 

Figure 2-9: 

Structure of a microporous paper 

(Source: HP, [53]) 


causing fade 


encapsulated dye 



protecting layer 
encapsulating layer 
blocking layer 

Figure 2-10: 

Layers of a swellable inkjet paper 

(Source: HP, [53]) 

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2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

These papers, primarily intended for dye-based inks, produce a very fine 
and crisp print, but are sensitive to high humidity and water contact. You 
may find swellable papers from Epson, Fujifilm (e.g., Premium Plus), HP 
(e.g., HP Premium Plus Photo Paper), Ilford, Kodak, and others. Most of 
these papers are either glossy or luster/satin. 

Swellable papers take a bit longer to dry, as the swelling caused by the 
inks has to release its moisture and return to a smaller size. Keep this in 
mind when handling prints on swellable paper. Wait even longer if you 
intend to frame a print, laminate or coat it. Colors also take a bit longer to 
stabilize and establish their final values. These unique factors are impor- 
tant when you do your own printer profiling. 

When printing with the HP printers using dye-based inks, we recom- 
mend using only swellable paper if print permanence is an issue. When, 
however, you use pigmented inks, avoid swellable papers. 

Resin coated (RC) papers • This is not actually a real coating but a kind 
of paper well known in the photographic world for simple consumer prints 
from the wet darkroom. Classic, good quality, wet prints still use fiber-based 
paper. This kind of paper is also now used for digital inkjet printing. With 
RC papers, the base substrate is made of resin (plastic, rather than paper) 
and usually sandwiched between two thin polyethylene layers. To make it 
suitable for inkjet printing, either a swellable or a microporous coating is 
applied on top. This coating determines the printing behavior of the paper. 

receptor coating 

Figure 2-11: 
Layers of an RC paper 

We have had positive reports from 

photographers using PixelTrust [109]. Another 

recommended coating is inkAID [96]. 

plastic base 

(blocking layer) 


With some inkjet papers, a distinction is made between "Fine Art Papers" 
and "Photographic Papers," the latter meaning RC papers. Most RC papers 
provide a glossy or satin surface and are closer to the feeling of traditional 
consumer photo material. For many artists, this feeling is too similar to 
plastic and it lacks the feel and look of real paper. 

Do your own coating Finally, you may use uncoated paper and do your 
own precoating (before you print). Here, you must differentiate between 
topcoats, or overcoats, which are intended to protect the finished print 
against UV light, abrasion and soiling. Basic paper is also coated to make it 
suitable for inkjet printing. Here we describe the latter. There are several 
coatings for inkjet printing on the market, but we do not have personal 
experience with them. These coatings may be applied with a brush or roller. 
You may also use low-pressure sprayers. inkAID offers several different 
precoatings, from White Matte to Clear Gloss. 

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2.3 Papers 43 

Sizing The term sizing or internal sizing describes the application of sub- 
stances to reduce overall absorbency and to keep the ink from coming in 
direct contact with the fibers that make up the support. With different sub- 
stances, absorbency of coatings is controlled. The term (surface) sizing is 
also used for the creation of special paper surfaces. 

Paper Surface - Paper Finish 

As with silver-halide-based prints, there are papers with different surface 
structures. For inkjet printing, the choice is even larger, and a papers sur- 
face type is another way to classify papers, from shiny to dull: 

► Glossy 

► Semigloss, Luster, Satin 

► Matte, Watercolor 

Photo Glossy 270 PhotoRag 308 PhotoRag Satin 320 German Etching 

Torchon 285 Photo Art board matte Wilhelm Turner 310 White Etching 268 

Canvas Artist Canvas Satin Artproof Satin White Velvet 

Figure 2-12: A small collection of paper surfaces and colors. The images show some papers from Hahnemuehle (courtesy ofHahnemuehle Germany). 

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44 2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

While these names or attributes mainly describe surface glossiness, the sur- 
face may have an additional structure, most obvious when using canvas. 
While glossy paper is usually very smooth, all less glossy papers may have 
different degrees of surface structure. 

The smoother the paper surface, the sharper a photo appears, provided 
you have sufficient contrast in the subject. For optimum brilliance, glossy 
and semigloss papers are best, while matte and velvet papers provide some 
more abstraction, especially when used for black-and-white prints. 

The surface not only has an influence on the visual appearance of the 
paper and the print, but may also affect the suitability of the paper for 
certain inks and, thus, printers. Typically, glossy papers are not optimal for 
pigmented inks, as pigments mainly reside on the surface and may inter- 
fere with the gloss of the surface. To offer a printer for a broad range of 
suitable applications, the printer manufacturers of pigment-based inkjets 
must compensate for this effect, e.g., by including a gloss optimizer for 
glossy prints or by selecting an ink formulation that results in a glossy ink. 

If you want to apply your own additional finish to a print, e.g., by doing 
a post-coating or embellishing, ensure that your coating material is not 
only compatible with your ink but also with your paper surface. Often, 
however, at least two versions of a post- coating material are available: one 
for glossy and one for matte surfaces. This, for example, is the case for the 
Eco Print Shield product from PremierArt ([in]). 

Paper Size 

Not all papers are available in all sizes. When we discuss fine art printing, 
usually we talk about prints at least the size of Letter or A4. Since most 
images require a larger size for optimum viewing, A3, A3+ and even larger 
See table 2.2 on page 49 for more standard are favorite sizes/ Another option is to use roll paper, which you may either 
paper sizes. cut down to your preferred size (you must flatten the paper afterward) or may 
use with a roll feeder on your printer if you have one. Some papers may be less 
expensive when ordered in larger sizes, and cut down to more usable sizes. 

Matching Inkjet Technology, Subject, Paper, and Ink 

In general, it is recommended to use a paper that: 

► matches the type of printing method used 

► works smoothly together with the ink and final print resolution 

► suits the image subject 

► suits your personal preferences 

For a print with many fine details, such as a photo of a fashion model, a 
glossy bright white paper may give the best result, considering resolution, 
sharpness, detail, and wide color gamut. A print of a landscape with pictur- 

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2.3 Papers 45 

esque scenery may look better on a watercolor paper. Likewise a black-and- 
white print of a portrait may not want a bright white paper, but may gain 
from a paper with a slightly off-white tint, or "natural white." Here, Hahne- 
muehle "German Etching" may be appropriate. 

While there are many technical specifications to note when choosing a suit- 
able fine art paper, it is still a subjective decision. There is no single right or 
wrong choice, and you may even select different papers for different subjects 
in different print sizes. The larger the print, the thicker the paper, up to a 
certain size. For very large fine art prints, you may have to return to a thin- 
ner paper, as you will likely mount them to a separate backboard. When 
paper bonding is required, thinner papers are easier to handle. 

Some More Characteristics 

There are other characteristics to consider when selecting a paper. For 
example, the pH value of the paper. This value tells how acidic or alkaline a 
paper is. "Neutral" would be a pH of 7.0. When the paper is more acidic, it 
will destroy itself after a length of time. As paper may pick up acid compo- 
nents from the environment, other papers, a wooden frame or the air itself, 
most fine art papers have a native pH of 7.5-10. This provides a buffer when 
picking up acid. Fine art materials with a prescribed amount of added alka- 
line are called buffered. 

Cobb number The cobb-number, mentioned in table 2.1 on page 38, gives 
an indication how much water can be absorbed by a paper over a certain 
period of time. This number is rarely given by paper manufacturers, and we 
have found no recommendation for good cobb values for fine art papers. 

Ink limit The ink limit is an important factor in offset printing. Darker 

colors are built up by overlaying primary colors (in offset printing, usually 

C, M, Y and K),* theoretically, up to 400 % to be applied using four inks. This * Using C, M and Y in addition to Black can 

is, in many cases, more than a paper can absorb. When too much ink is achieve a darker, deeper Black. 

applied, the color will break or smear, or the paper may warp. Thus the ink 

limit specifies how much ink may be overlaid at a particular point. The 

higher this value, the higher density may be achieved in dark or black areas 

of the print. Values beyond 230-240 are considered quite good using fine art 


With some RIPs, you may explicitly control the maximum amount of 
ink laid down. 

Print maximum density (Dmax) According to Norman Koren [87] Dmax 
= Tog io (minimum print reflectivity), and is a measure of the deepest black 
tone a printer/ink/paper combination can reproduce. This is an extremely 
important print-quality factor. Prints with poor Dmax look pale and weak. 
A Dmax of 1.7 is a good value for matte prints; 2.0 is good for glossy, semi- 
gloss and luster prints. With some newer papers using one of the Epson 

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2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

* Imatest, a tool provided by Norman Koren 

[87], allows calculation of Dmax for printers, 

inks, and papers. 

UltraChrome K3 printers, we even have measured a Dmax as high as 2.3 
with Premium Luster paper and even 2.5 with some inkjet Baryt papers. 

You only rarely find this value in a paper-manufacturer's data sheet, as 
it also depends on the type of ink used and on some driver settings. These 
values become especially important when printing black-and-white. Dmax 
is measured using a densitometer, but may also be measured using a good 
flatbed scanner and a spectrophotometer.* 

Opacity Opacity determines to what degree elements on the back of a sheet 
(or elements behind the paper surface) are visible. This is important when 
intending to print on both sides of the paper. This value may range from 
zero (complete transparency) to 100 (completely opaque). The thicker the 
paper and the more dense the paper and coating, the higher the opacity 
value will be. For fine art papers, opacity values of more than 85 are reason- 
able and greater than 90 is considered good. 

Other Materials 

For fine art prints, there are several other materials available on which to 
print, e.g., printable canvas. Hahnemuehle offers a fine "Canvas Artist 
Matte" (340 gsm, natural white), although you also may use conventional 
canvas, after preparing it with a coating described earlier. 

Traditional film, either clear or white, may be used for backlit prints, 
or as a digital negative to produce contact prints in a wet darkroom, using 
papers for Baryt or platinum prints. For backlit film, Kodak offers a "Reverse 
Print Backlit Film, 6 mil" that may be used with pigmented Epson Ultra- 
chrome inks or dye-based inks. Pictorico [107] offers "Photo Gallery 
Hi- Gloss White Film" that has received positive comments in several pub- 
lications. The film is also available in A4. This material may be used to 
produce large-format negatives for contact proofs. While browsing the 
Pictorico Web site, check out "OHP Transparency Film," which is excellent 
for general display transparencies and for making platinum/palladium 

A problem with film is that it is difficult to locate ICC profiles for these 
media. Even though standard profiling software suggests that it's relatively 
easy to generate your own profiles, it's no simple task when using reflective 
white film as the print medium. 

Fabric has become a popular print medium for the fine art community. 
Here, however, you will need specialized inks. Also, fabric needs special 
treatment before printing. Most desktop inkjets are poorly designed for 
printing on fabric. Moreover, this type of printing is usually done on large- 
format printers. 

The intrepid fine art printer should also look into signmaker and craft 
supplies, which offer unique papers, e.g., rice paper, and other supplies to 
enhance the look and feel of fine art prints. 

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2.3 Papers 


Paper Handling 

Handling before printing Printing paper should be kept dry, clean and 
dark. The manufacturers box is a suitable, short-term storage solution. 
Check the expiration date to ensure you use the paper well before it "expires." 
Also, ensure the humidity is kept at about 50-60 % to prevent excess drying 
or swelling. 

Digital fine art printing paper is quite sensitive to oils and perspiration 
(which is acidic), so you should wear thin cotton gloves when handling it. 
This practice is standard when handling photographs, as well/ 

Preparing for printing Often there are loose, tiny paper particles 
attached to paper. These particles may clog your printer's print heads and 
rollers. If they remain on the paper while printing and fall off later, you 
could have tiny white (or paper- colored) spots on your print. For that rea- 
son, we advise wiping the paper using a very soft brush, or blowing off the 
particles using low-pressure compressed air immediately before printing. 

The sweat of your hand is acidic. 

Handling for printing Make certain you print on the coated side of a 
paper. Usually, you can see or feel the coating on the paper surface. On 
glossy and semigloss papers, the coated surface is most obvious: the shiny 
side. With matte and similar papers, it usually is the side showing the more 
prominent matte texture. If in doubt, test the paper lightly with a thumb- 
nail. On the coated side, the nail will leave a clearly visible trace as you 
lightly crease the paper. 

If you intend to use thick or heavy paper, first check to learn if your 
printer is capable of printing that paper thickness (see technical specifica- 
tion of the printer). Even if suitable, it may be necessary to manually guide 
the paper in the feeder. We recommend feeding any paper a single sheet at 
a time when printing fine art, and always remember to handle paper only 
by its edges, or use cotton gloves. 

Figure 2-13: 

Use cotton gloves to handle your fine art 
papers, and brush or air-spray your paper 
before inserting it into the printer 
(Courtesy Monochrom Germany [106]) 

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2 Inks, Papers, and Print Permanence 

-> For further information, please see: 

"A-Z of Paper: Interesting Facts on Paper" 

by Hahnemuehle [93]. 

Figure 2-14: 
Using a D-Roller to remove paper curl 

* See Uwe's paper "Printing Insights #27: 

The D-Roller": 

pi 027/ / essay. html 

After printing When retrieving a print after printing, avoid contact with 
the freshly printed surface until it is completely dry Place the fresh print on 
a clean, flat surface, avoiding bright light and direct sunlight, and let it dry 
sufficiently Drying time depends on the kind of inks used and on properties 
of the media. Most dye-based inks take a bit longer to dry, but for most inks 
and papers, one hour is reasonable. Try to keep the print in a dust-free 
environment while drying. 

If you intend to frame the print or do further protective coating, we 
recommend waiting at least 24 hours after printing. With RC papers (see 
page 42), you should wait longer, perhaps a week, to give the paper and ink 
adequate time to off- gas. 

If you use roll paper, you will have to flatten the paper to remove the curl 
from the paper roll. When the paper is dry, you may have to run it with a 
slight pressure over a table edge (the back of the print toward the table) to 
help remove curl. 

D-Roller (figure 2-14, produced by Glastonbury Design ([91]), allows 
you to take the curl out of fine art papers that come from a roll. Papers may 
be D -Rolled prior to or after printing with no drying time needed for the 
inks. (See Uwe's short note on the D-Roller*). 

Storing your prints Storing digital prints is the same as storing silver- 
halide-based photos. Keep them clean, dry and, when not on display, in the 
dark. When stored for archiving, be sure their container is acid free. It is 
recommended to isolate prints from each other using sheet separators with 
acid-free paper. There are special buffered tissue papers expressly for this 
purpose, meaning they have a pH of about 8, so they can absorb/neutralize 
acidic components from contact chemicals and air pollution. 

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2.3 Papers 


Suitable digital fine art papers 

There are many different types of fine art papers available. In appendix B 
you will find a number of papers we tested and liked and some more hints 
on the usage of papers. 

Table 2.2: Standard Paper Sizes 


U.S. Size 

Metric Equivalent 


7.25 x 10.5 inches 

18.4 x 26,7 cm 

A (US Letter) 

8.5 x 11.0 inches 

21.6 x 27.9 cm 


8.5 x 14.0 inches 

21.6 x 35.6 cm 

B (Ledger, Tabloid) 

11.0 x 17.0 inches 

27.9 x 43.2 cm 

Super B/Super A3 

13.0 x 19.0 inches 

33.0x48.3 cm 

C (Broadsheet) 

17.0 x 22.0 inches 

43.2 x 55.9 cm 


22.0 x 34.0 inches 

55.9 x 86.4 cm 


34.0 x 44.0 inches 

86.4 x 111.8 cm 

Metric names 


5.83 x 8.27 inches 

14.8 x 21.0 cm 

A 4 

8.27 x 11.69 inches 

21.0 x 29.7 cm 

A4 Plus 

8.27 x 13.00 inches 

21.0 x 33.0 cm 


11.69 x 16.54 inches 

29.7 x 42.0 cm 


13.00 x 19.00 inches 

33.0 x 48.3 cm 


16.54 x 2 3-39 inches 

42.0 x 59.4 cm 


18.00 x 27.02 inches 

48.0 x 62.8 cm 


2 3-39 x 33-ii inches 

59.4 x 84.1 cm 


24.02 x 35.98 inches 

62.5 x 91.4 cm 


33.11 x 46.81 inches 

84.1 x 118.9 cm 


35.98 x 49.21 inches 

91.4 x 125.0 cm 

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Color Management for 

With photographic prints, we usually work in color, so it is 
essential that the color on our monitor is correctly cali- 
brated. It should closely match that seen by the various 
input devices, e.g., camera and scanner. 

After balancing white and black values, adjusting color 
saturation, or performing other color corrections or con- 
trast enhancements, the color we see on a monitor should 
accurately represent the color values of our image. Most 
importantly, when we finally print the image, after opti- 
mizing and enhancing, the colors in our print will closely 
match those we view on our monitor. This is what color 
management is all about. Of course, to do efficient color 
work, it is essential to understand the basics of color and 
color management. 

Color management is one of the most demanding sub- 
jects in digital photography, and has been the subject of 
entire books. Because of the extensive information avail- 
able elsewhere, we provide only a short introduction to 
color management, with a focus on those parts important 
to a workflow for fine art printing. 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

3.1 Understanding Different Color Models 

^ There are several good books on color 

management: "Color Confidence" 

by Tim Grey ([3]) and "Real World Color 

Management" by Bruce Fraser ([5]). 

* Some formats even allow for 32 bits per 

primary color. This, for example, is used with 

HDR (high dynamic range) images. 

** For the technicians among us: integer 

values are used for 8-bit as well as for 16-bit 

data (per color channel). With some 32-bit 

formats, floating point numbers are used. 

Starting with Photoshop CS2, Photoshop 

also supports 32-bit (per channel) color data. 

There are different file formats for this (e.g., 

PSD, PSB, Radiance, PFM, OpenEXR and TIFF). 

Let us start with some easy stuff- with the different color models Photoshop 
supports. We will meet these color modes (or models) again and again - at 
least some of them. A color model defines the way colors are described, in a 
technical, mathematical way - e.g., from what basic components a color is 
built up - these components are called primary colors or primaries - how 
the numbers of those components are interpreted and are arranged in the 
color data and - as an extension to this - how much data is used for each 

Photoshop supports several different color models. A color model 
defines mathematically how colors in an image are described. The main 
color models for photographers are: 

► RGB 

► Lab 


► Grayscale 

Photoshop provides additional color models, but these are rarely used by 
photographers, so a discussion of them is beyond the scope of this book. 
These include Bitmap for pure black-and-white (bitonality) images, and 
Index mode, used primarily for Web graphics (if you can live with fewer than 
256 different color values). Duotone is used with grayscale images and allows 
the addition of a second color, giving a print more depth and feel. 

Color depth: In a color model, you may use either 8 bits (one byte) to spec- 
ify the amount of a single color (e.g., red) or 16 bits (2 bytes)/ Thus, you may 
have your image in 8-bit or 16-bit mode. A different bit depth is possible, but 
not supported by most applications. Using 16-bit color depth doubles the 
space needed to store values, but gives you more headroom when it comes 
to differentiating color values, and allows for more precise calculations with 
less rounding errors. Using 8-bit, the value of a single component may vary 
from o to 255 (using integers).** Using 16-bit, the range runs from o to 65,535 
(actually, only 15 -bits are used in Photoshop, so the range becomes o to 
32,767). Though we recommend using 16 -bit whenever possible and reason- 
able, it is common practice to use 8-bit values (0-255). 

For most issues in color management, it doesn't matter which mode 
you use. When producing final output, e.g., printing, you will be required 
to reduce your image to 8 -bit mode, since nearly all physical devices can 
not actually produce more than 256 different shades of a color. Considering 
the various combinations of the three primary colors of RGB, this adds up 
to 16,777,216 different colors (256 x 256 x 256). Our eyes can only differenti- 
ate about 120-200 different hues of a particular color, depending on illu- 
mination, contrast, viewing distance, etc. During actual color optimiza- 
tion, however, where color shifting, transformation, and calculation of 
color values is done, 16 -bit is the preferred mode. 

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3.1 Understanding Different Color Models 


RGB Color Model 

All colors in the RGB color model are created from three primary colors: red, 
green, and blue. RGB is the color model most commonly used today in 
digital photography, and we will perform our workflow mainly in this mode. 
RGB is an additive color model, meaning that the sum (addition) of all three 
basic colors at full strength (100 percent) will add up to pure white. 

"o, o, o" defines black while "255, 255, 255" is bright white. Pure white 
should hardly occur in any photo. 

Lab Color Model 

The CIE Lab color model (often spelled Lab, LAB or L* a*b* ) separates colors 
(chroma, A+B) from the detail and brightness (luminance, L) in images. As 
in RGB, Lab uses three basic components to build or describe a color: L (for 
Luminance), ranging from black (o = no light) to white (100), and two color 
axes: a and b. The a-axis is Green to Red (actually more Magenta) and the 
b-axis, Blue to Yellow. 

CMYK Color Model 

The CMYK color model uses four primary colors to define a color: cyan (C), 
magenta (M), yellow (Y), and black (K). CMYK was designed for printing, 
where incoming light is reflected by the print. 

CMYK is a subtractive color model, as each of these colored inks absorbs 
(subtracts) a certain spectrum of light. Figure 3-3 shows that mixing cyan 
and magenta gives you blue, and when you add magenta to yellow you get 
red. In theory, the combination of the colors C, M, and Y alone should be 
sufficient to produce black, but due to certain impurities in inks, they pro- 
duce a dark muddy brown instead. To solve this problem, a fourth color, 
black, is added, and is called the key color (K for short). 

Although CMYK is an important color model for a printing press, it is 
not used much in digital photography. Though inkjet printers are techni- 
cally CMYK printers (most are even CcMmYK with additional light Cyan 
and Magenta inks) , they provide an RGB interface to the user. Transformation 
from RGB to CMYK is done by the printer driver in the background. 

We rarely use the CMYK color model in our workflow. Even when 
preparing images for printing that requires CMYK, you should stick with 
RGB -mode images whenever possible and resort to an RGB -to- CMYK con- 
version as the very last step. After conversion, some additional sharpening 
and some slight increasing of saturation may be required. Working on 
photos in CMYK mode has these disadvantages: 

► CMYK images are larger than RGB (with four color values per pixel 
instead of three with RGB). 


Figure 3-1: The RGB color model 

Figure 3-2: Lab color model 





Figure 3-3: CMYK color model 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

* A color space is all those colors that a 

specific device (or device class) can 'see' or 

can reproduce. 

-> If you have to convert a photo from RGB 

to CMYK, you should do the conversion on a 

copy of your photo. 

► Some photo filters do not work in CMYK mode. 

► The CMYK color space" usually contains fewer colors than most RGB 
color spaces. Thus, when you convert from RGB to CMYK, you may 
lose some colors, and there is no way to retrieve them should you want 
to later use your image for something such as Lightjet printing, which 
is used by photo services to output your image on photographic paper, 
or a digital presentation using an RGB monitor. 

How to convert a color image to a grayscale 

or monochrome image is described in 

chapter 7. 

Grayscale Mode 

Photoshop also works with images in pure black-and-white (B&W) - also 
called bitonal - or in grayscale. However, when working in grayscale, the 
color of a pixel only describes a single (gray) value. Consequently, even 
when intending to produce a black-and-white photo (grayscale photo), we 
use RGB mode to preserve color information. This gives the black-and- 
white print some tint. 

When using Photoshop's bitmap mode, a picture has only two possible 
color values: black or white; no gray. Bitmap mode is rarely used with pho- 
tographs, and most imaging techniques and filters do not support bitmap 

HSB/HSL Color Model 

The HSB {Hue, Saturation and Brightness) or HSL {Hue, Saturation 
and Lightness) models are not explicitly supported by Photoshop, 
but are used in quite a few places like the Photoshop color picker (see 
figure 3-39 on page 86) or the Hue/Saturation tool. Here, the hue is 
given using an angle from o° to 360 . o° (as well as 360 ) corresponds 
to red, 90 to green, 180 to cyan and 210 to blue. Saturation has a 
range from 0% (white) to 100% while Lightness runs from 0% (black) 
to 100% (white). 

In some dialog boxes, i.e., those changed from the current satu- 
ration like the Hue/Saturation dialog, Saturation may also run from 
-100 to +100. The same is true for the Lightness slider. 

Figure 3-4: H5L/HSB color model 

Color Spaces 

e.g., represented by the sRGB color space 

A color space is the total range of colors that real devices like monitors or 
printers, or virtual devices like theoretical average monitor* can record or 
reproduce. This range defines the gamut of the device. 

Every real device has a unique color space, and even identical devices 
(same make and model) have slightly different color spaces, e.g., due to 
different age and production tolerances. These differences increase with 
variations in user-selected hardware or software settings: different monitor 

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3.2 Understanding Color Management 


resolution, different printer inks or paper, or even a different brightness 
setting on a monitor. 

To improve the ability to work with color, the International Color 
Consortium (ICC) and some other companies (e.g., Adobe, Kodak, Apple) 
have defined virtual color spaces representing the gamut of a virtual, rather 
than a real, device. Later, we discuss the advantages of these virtual, stan- 
dardized color spaces. 

For ICC, see 

There, you will find a lot of information on 

color management. 

3.2 Understanding Color Management 

Color correction and color management (CM) are two of the most impor- 
tant yet difficult areas to master in digital photography. As stated earlier, the 
goal of color management is to ensure that the photo you view on your 
monitor accurately matches the print produced by your printer or Lightjet 
print from a photo service. Color management helps reproduce colors as 
faithfully as possible across a broad range of different devices. While an 
identical reproduction is often impossible, because of the different ways 
various devices produce color, you should at least be able to predict the printed 
color from the color you view on your monitor. 

The ability of a color-managed application to display on your monitor 
the colors and the impression that an image will have when printed on a 
specific printer or other output device is called soft proofing. Hard proofing 
is when you actually print using the same inks and the same paper used for 
final output. Some printing houses now use less- expensive paper and 
printing techniques for their proofs, unless the client specifies otherwise. 

For an in-depth introduction to color 
management, we recommend [3], [5] and [6] . 

For more on "soft-proofing", see section 3.12 
at page 84. 

Why You Need to Understand Color Management 

If you post a photo on the Web and ask different people to discuss its color 
quality, without color management the resulting image will display colors at 
least slightly differently on all those monitors. In fact, some monitors may 
not even render some RGB values at all. It is the domain of color manage- 
ment to significantly reduce the problem described here. 

The challenge Your challenge is to have a monitor display the correct 
impression of how a certain photo would print on a color printer. The latest 
inkjet printers produce amazing results, but without proper color manage- 
ment, color printing largely remains trial and error. You end up changing 
the printer's color settings for every print; hardly a satisfactory solution. 

The solution The solution to this color problem is to determine the color 
characteristics of a device, and to incorporate them when reading colors 
from an input device, or when sending color to an output device. Essentially, 
you put a "tag" on color images that defines how the color values of the 
image are to be interpreted most accurately. 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

ICC Profiles 

Note: Because most people use 
their monitor as their soft- 
proofing device, the first step 
toward complete color manage- 
ment is to profile your monitor. 

The ICC color profile describes a devices color characteristics, e.g., the col- 
ors the device can record or reproduce, the values recorded for a perceived 
color (input device), or the values you must send to an output device to 
produce a certain color. These profiles are available from the device manu- 
facturer (usually called canned profiles), or you produce your own using 
special profiling hardware and software. A profile produced for your spe- 
cific device is called a custom profile. Almost all color management systems 
today use ICC profiles. With the help of such profiles, the color values 
required to produce a specific color on device A, e.g., a monitor, can be 
translated to values that will reproduce that specific color on device B, e.g., 
a printer, as accurately as possible. A device's color profile also describes the 
gamut of the device. 

Note: A raw RGB value does not define color in an absolute way, as the 
color produced by a certain RGB value is very much dependent on the 
device used or on the device that recorded that value. An RGB value in 
the context of a color space, defined by the ICC profile of the color 
space, however, does define an absolute color. 

CMM = "color management module". This is 
also called "color matching module". 

What do you do when you get an image that, without color management, 
displays different colors on different monitors? With the help of the input 
profile, a color management system may correctly interpret the RGB values 
of the (input) image and, with the aid of an ICC profile for your monitor, will 
accurately transfer them to color values that produce a similar color on your 
output device. The next section describes this in detail. 

What is a Color Management System? 

A color management system (CMS) is a set of program modules that medi- 
ate color translation among different devices. These modules are often part 
of a computer's operating system, and also are usually provided by software 
companies (e.g., Adobe). If an application is used to display, edit or print a 
color image, it initiates the proper function(s), e.g., displaying a particular 
image, generates the correct ICC profile information, and then tells the CMS 
what function should be performed. The central part of the CMS is a color 
management module* which performs the calculations needed to translate 
(transform) a color from color space A to color space B. Here's how it works: 

1. First, the CMM translates the device- dependent color values of the 
image to a device-independent color space, using the description of the 
source ICC profile. Now the color values of the image are in Lab color 

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3.2 Understanding Color Management 


space, which is device-independent. This intermediate space is called 
transfer color space or profile connection space (PCS). 

2. Next, these Lab values are translated to color values that will produce a 
color on the output device that is as close to the original color impres- 
sion as possible. If the output device cannot produce the very same 
color, the CMM will try to find the closest match. Finding the best 
match is determined by the translation intent (explained in section 3.4 
at page 62), also called rendering intent. 

The ICC profiles used in this scheme are actually simple translation tables. 
They support translation from device-dependent color values to device- 
independent color values, and vice-versa. 


rm.ige-in de^ce independent 

kHefnal cod 0* space 



1 VX 

™™ preprrti profile 


w* -. 

Figure 3-5: 

How color profiles function within a color 

management system 

Photoshop and other applications that support color management embed 
the ICC profile data within the image file; this new file is called a tagged file or 
tagged image. When you pass the tagged image along, the profile information 
is passed along, as well. You should be aware that not all image file formats can 
include ICC profiles. While TIFFs and JPEGs can, GIFs cannot. As you have 
probably noticed, a GIF image has an unacceptable color depth anyway. 

Color Working Spaces 

It is often a challenge to work with a large number of different device- 
dependent color spaces, which is how virtual, standardized color spaces 
were defined. Rather than describe the gamut of a real device, they define 
the gamut for an abstract or virtual device. There are several different spaces 
for each of the color models (RGB, Lab, CMYK), and range from a narrow 

Note: Avoid applications that 
do not use or create these 
embedded profiles, or that do 
not support use of monitor 
profiles. The color of the image 
they display on the monitor or 
print may or may not be cor- 
rect or even close to the true 
colors. Some applications may 
even remove the profiles from 
your image when editing, with- 
out alerting you. 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

-> Avoid color space conversions (explicit 

ones) whenever possible, as every conversion 

will result in some rounding errors and - more 

seriously - some color compression or color 

clipping in many cases. 

* This "RAW" data is the data coming from 

your digital camera when you shoot RAW 

instead of JPEG or TIFF. It mainly consists of the 

raw data the camera reads from its sensor. 

e.g., Inkjet printer, Light Jet printer, monitor, 


■* In 8-bit mode, there are only 256 discrete 
values available for each of the three basic 


Another color space often mentioned is 

"Apple RGB". But Apple RGB is outdated 

and should no longer be used today! It was 

defined by the gamut of a certain line of 

Apple monitors. 

to a broad gamut: for the RGB color model, we have sRGB, Apple RGB, 
Adobe RGB (1998), ECI-RGB and ProPhoto RGB (and several others). 

To eliminate a specific working space (including its ICC profile) of your 
input device, you usually convert an image from the original input color 
space to a standardized color space and continue to work on this image 
using this working space. With digital photos, you may accomplish this 
conversion using a RAW* converter. 

Why define several working spaces for a color model? These spaces 
differ mainly in the color range (their gamut) they cover. In some work- 
flows, it is advantageous to use a narrow color space, while in others, a wide 
space is better. If your input device, say, a digital camera, has a wide gamut, 
you should use a work space with a wide gamut if you are intending to 
produce output for several different methods.** If you convert your image to 
a working space with a narrow gamut, you may lose some colors that could 
be reproduced by some output devices. If, however, you use a working 
space with a very wide gamut, the numbers (bits) representing color values 
may not be sufficient to differentiate the many different colors your gamut 
allows. Many of these discrete values may be lost because your image may 
never have colors that extend to the outer edge of the theoretical gamut of 
the space. This may become worse if you must do a lot of correcting, round- 
ing, and if you perform transformations. For this reason, we recommend 
using 16 -bit mode when you intend to use a color space with a wide gamut. 

The following list shows some of the most important color spaces for pho- 

► sRGB: This color space was designed to be used with monitors, and is 
probably a good one for photos to be presented on the Web. It defines a 
gamut that can be displayed by the average monitor, a relatively narrow 
color space. Though many DSLRs allow you to produce images using 
this color space, sRGB color space is much narrower than the color 
space cameras can see and record. 

► Adobe RGB (1998): A very popular color space among Photoshop 
users. It has a larger gamut than sRGB and covers most printable colors. 
This is the color space we prefer for digital photos. 

► ProPhoto RGB: This color space was defined and is supported by 
Kodak. It provides a very large gamut and should only be used when 
working with a color depth of 16 -bit. Of the RGB working spaces men- 
tioned here, it is the only one that can hold the full camera gamut. It is 
also the internal working space for Adobe Camera Raw. 

► ECI-RGB: This color space was defined by ECI, the European Color 
Initiative, a group of companies attempting to define color-production 
standards in Europe. The ECI-RGB color space was designed to include 
all colors that may be reproduced by printers. Its gamut is somewhat 
wider than that of Adobe RGB (1998) and includes some green colors 

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3.3 Visualization of Color Spaces 


that can be reproduced by many printers (inkjet and offset, as well as 
gravure), but that are not part of either sRGB or Adobe RGB (1998). 
ECI-RGB is the standard RGB color space within the European prepress 
industry and serves as the European alternative to Adobe RGB (1998) 
for prepress work. 

Since the ECI-RGB profile is not part of 
Adobe's Photoshop distribution, you have 
to download this profile from EC's Web site 

3.3 Visualization of Color Spaces 

Color spaces are actually three-dimensional (e.g., L-, a*-, b*- 
axis). The profile shown in figure 3-6 is that of sRGB, using 
the ColorSync utility of Mac OS X. For Windows XP, there 
is a similar utility, MS Color Control Panel that you may 
download [73]. In figure 3-6, the gray shape shows the 
gamut of Adobe RGB (1998) and allows comparison of these 
two color spaces. 

The industry also uses some form of 2D charts to dis- 
play color spaces. The color space plot shown in figure 3-7 
was generated with the X-Rite ProfileMaker Pro 4.1 Profile 

F= 3 


DM4 iMilnKwi»M 

Epson Luster paper with 
Epson UltraChrome inks 

water color 
paper with Epson 
UltraChrome inks 

L J 

t 91* 

A4*it ^^ 

Ml mt 



Figure 3-6: 3D diagram ofsRGB (color) and Adobe RGB (1998) (gray 
shape) using a Yxy diagram. 

Figure 3-7: 

Gamut Display (plotted by ProfileMaker 

Pro) using a 2D Yxy diagram. 

In figure 3-7 , ProPhoto RGB is extremely wide, while Adobe RGB (1998) is 
much smaller and sRGB is very narrow. 

We often use "Hahnemuehle German Etching watercolor paper" when 
printing with our inkjet printers. This paper's gamut, using Epson's Ultra- 
Chrome inks, exceeds sRGB's but fits well into Adobe RGB's gamut. The 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

Figure 3-8: The red line shows the simplified 

gamut while the muliti-colored line shows 

the gamut in more detail. Both plots show the 

gamut of Epson Premium Semigloss on an 

Epson R2400 using K3 inks. 

color space of the "Epson Lustre" paper has a much wider range than that 
of "Hahnemuehle Watercolor" paper, and exceeds both sRGB and Adobe 
RGB (1998) (in some blues and greens). If you have ICC profiles describing 
different printing sets, i.e., combinations of printer + ink + paper, a display 
like the ones shown in figure 3-6 and figure 3-7 allows you to compare the 
gamut and thus the color richness you may achieve using different papers. 

Both figures (figure 3-6 and figure 3-7) were plotted using a Yxy plot 
where the Y axis represents luminance. In figure 3-7 the Y axis is perpen- 
dicular to the plotted plane showing the gamut at a lightness value of 50 % 
of maximum brightness - white. Also, the gamut outlines in figure 3-7 are 
rough, simplified outlines. Figure 3-8 shows the gamut of the Epson 
Premium Semigloss in a simplified (red line) and in a more detailed outline 
(colored frame). 

Though the Yxy diagram is a very common way to plot the gamut on a 
color space, there are a number of other plots that are used - both in a 2D and 
a 3D form. With 2D plots a brightness value of 50 % is the standard. Another 
very popular form is using the L*a*b* axis (actually, only the a* and b* axis 
are shown in the plot, while the L* axis is perpendicular to the plotted plane). 
Figure 3-9 shows such a plot, comparing the gamut of Adobe RGB (1998) 
(orange outline) to that of a profile for the Epson Premium Semigloss paper 
for a Epson R2400 printer using Epson's K3 inks and specific driver settings. 

b* axis) 
ProPhoto RGB 

Adobe RGB (1998) 


Epson Premium Semigloss' 

(using K3 inks on a Epson 


a* axis) - 

Figure 3-9: 

A 2D L*a*b* plot showing the gamut of 

several working color spaces and that of the 

Epson Premium Semigloss paper on an Epson 

R2400 printer using Epson's K3 sinks with Print 

Quality set to "RPM". This plot was created by 

ColorThink3.o Pro. 

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3.3 Visualization of Color Spaces 


This L*a*b* type of plot is quite good for comparing different gamuts and 
ColorThink Pro (that we used to create this plot), is a very nice tool for pro- 
ducing such plots (and it does much more - e.g., ICC profile inspection and 

Figure 3-10 demonstrates a 2D plot in LUV coordinates. While this type 
is often used for color spaces for TVs (the TV signal uses LUV coding), you 
will rarely find this kind of plot used for color spaces for digital photos. 

The plot in figure 3-9 also shows that there are a few colors (e.g., satu- 
rated yellows and some saturated cyans) that this printer + paper combina- 
tion could print that lie outside of the Adobe RGB (1998) color space. If you 
shoot your digital picture in RAW and convert it to Adobe RGB (1998), these 
colors will be clipped (mapped to colors that are available in the gamut of 
Adobe RGB - section 3.4 will explain how this is done). If you did your 
digital shooting in JPEG, the conversion and color mapping from the cam- 
era's gamut to the color space of the JPEG image will automatically be done 
by the camera, either using Adobe RGB (1998) (which we consider to be the 
better solution) or sRGB as the target space.* If you want to retain as much 
gamut as possible for the editing of your image, you should use RAW for 
your digital shooting (provided your digital camera supports RAW) and 
convert to ProPhoto RGB when converting the image in your RAW con- 
verter to an external RGB color space. 

However, as the gamut your monitor can reproduce most likely is even 
smaller than Adobe RGB (1998), you can't see these colors on your monitor. 
Photoshop (or whatever color managed application you are using) will map 
those colors to colors the monitor can reproduce using the relative colori- 
metric mapping algorithm described in the next section. This sounds bad, 
but in fact turns out to be practical, though not an ideal solution. 

At some point on the path of your digital image from the camera or 
scanner to the print, the colors of your image have to be mapped to the 
color that the printer, the inks used, and the paper can reproduce. The 
same is true when the colors of an image have to be reproduced on screen 
for showing or for editing the image. There are several ways to do this. A 
good application (e.g., like Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and 
many other color-managed viewers and image editors) allows you to define 
- at least for printing - how this will be done (see section 3.4). 

If you can't reproduce the full gamut of a the rich color set which a good 
digital camera or a good scanner can capture on your monitor or your 
printer, why then should you keep the full gamut using a large color space 
like ProPhoto RGB or Adobe RGB (1998)? There are several reasons for this: 

1. Devices are going to improve. While, for example, in the past most mon- 
itors could only reproduce (roughly) the gamut of sRGB (that's why sRGB 
was defined), monitors are becoming better. Today, you can buy moni- 
tors that cover (almost) the complete Adobe RGB (1998) color space, and 
this path will continue. Also printers are improving, and new ink sets 
(e.g., using 10 inks or even more) extend the reproducable color space. 

* This depends on your in-camera settings. 
For JPEG and TIFF images, advanced digital 
cameras allow you to select either sRGB or 
Adobe RGB (1998) as your target color space. 
If you have this choice, we recommend using 
Adobe RGB (1998). 

ProPhoto RGB Epson p rem ium 

Adobe RGB (1998) /semigloss 

Figure 3-10: A plot using LUV coordinates (the 
L axis is perpendicular to the plotted plain). 
The GIE Luv color space is a perceptually 
uniform derivation of the standard GIE Yxy 
space. "Perceptually uniform" means that two 
colors that are equally distant in the color 
space - specified by the standard cartesian 
distance function of the square root of color 
offsets - are equally distant perceptually. 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

2. While editing, you can loose colors - e.g., selectively reducing or shifting 
color -, or you may gain new colors through various editing operations. 
Therefore it is reasonable to start with a rich set of colors and a large 
color space and use 16-bit color depth as long as possible. 

3.4 Color Space Mapping 

Adobe RGB (1998) 

Figure 3-11: Perceptual gamut mapping from 
Adobe RGB (1998) to sRGB 

Here, the "white point" is the color temperature 

(or color spectrum) of the color "white" of the 

corresponding color space. Adobe RGB (1998), 

for example, has a white point at 6,500 K while 

ECI-RGB has its white point at 5,000 K. 

When images need to be converted from one color space to another, e.g., 
when displaying an image on a monitor, the image is transformed from its 
source color space (device color space or working color space) to that of the 
output device, in this case, your monitor. In most cases, the gamut of the 
source and the destination are different, so some color mapping has to take 
place. This transformation is performed by the color-management module 
(also called the color-management engine). 

The main challenge is what to do with those colors of the source space 
that are not present in the destination space. Because there are several ways 
to handle this problem, ICC has defined four different ways of mapping, 
called intents: 

Perceptual (also called Photographic): If the gamut of the source space is 
wider than that of the destination space, all colors are compressed to fit into 
the destination space (figure 3-11). If the gamut of the source space is smaller 
than the destination space, i.e., all colors of the source are present at the 
destination space, a one-to-one mapping takes place: all colors keep their 
original appearance. 

When mapping from a wider space to a smaller space, perceptual map- 
ping usually shifts colors to a bit less saturated and somewhat lighter col- 
ors, but the overall impression of the image is preserved, i.e., different 
colors keep their relative color distance. When the white point of the color 
spaces are different, a white point mapping takes place. Perceptual and 
Relative colorimetric mapping are the two intents used when converting 

Relative colorimetric: When mapping from a wider color space to a smaller 
color space, a color in the source space that is not present at the destination 
space is mapped to the closest color at the destination space, usually at the 
border of the destination space (figure 3-12 ). 

With this type of mapping, two colors, both different in the source 
space and not present in the destination space, may be mapped to the same 
color in the destination space, but usually at the edge of the envelope. This 
could result in some color clipping or banding. The white point of the 
source space is mapped to the white point of the destination (if they differ), 
and all colors are adapted relative to the destination white point. 

This intent is useful for photographs and should be used when the 
source and destination spaces have a similar gamut with lots of overlap. It 

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3.5 Creating Device Profiles 


is also useful if most of the colors in your image, which may not use the full 
gamut of the source space, have an identical color in the destination space. 
In this case, most colors remain unmodified when transformed. This intent 
also is used when colors in an image are translated to colors on your mon- 

Absolute colorimetric: This intent is like a relative colorimetric, where col- 
ors present in both color spaces are mapped 1:1, and colors that are out of the 
gamut, i.e., when a color of the source space is not present in the destination 
space, are mapped to the border of the destination space. This mapping is 
particularly useful when using your output device (e.g., monitor) to simu- 
late the behavior of another device, e.g., for soft proofing. In this case, the 
monitor simulates the white color of the paper. Note that there is no map- 
ping for the white point. 

Saturation: This intent tries to map an out-of-gamut color to a color of the 
destination space with the same level of saturation, even if the color has to 
be shifted significantly. Use this intent when converting logos and colored 
diagrams from a larger color space to smaller one. It is not useful for photo- 
graphs, as it discards information for hue and lightness, and does not pre- 
serve color realism. Some third-party profiles adapt this intent for a special 
color mapping that retains the saturation as best as possible, without a 
noticeable color shift; it may be used for some photos. 

Adobe RGB (1998) 

Figure 3-12: Relative colorimetric mapping 
(Adobe RGB (1998) to sRGB) 

-> Some profiling packages - and 
accordingly some profiles - misuse the 
"Saturation" rendering, which then allows 
them to create a modified version of 
"Perceptual" which will result in less color 
shifting than regular "Perceptual". 

3.5 Creating Device Profiles 

Since most of our digital work is done using a monitor, when setting up a 
color managed workflow, we need to consider monitor profiling as our most 
important task. In this section, we turn our attention to building a device 
profile. Normally, there are two steps: 

1. Calibration 

The aim of calibration is to define a highly accurate, standardized state 
for the device; for example, when calibrating a monitor, you manually 
set the controls of your monitor to achieve a certain luminance (bright- 
ness of your monitor's white) that is known to be good for color work. 
Also, you set a white point that conforms to an industry standard, such 
as D50 or D65 (color temperatures of 5,000 or 6,500 Kelvin, respec- 
tively). The white point of your monitor is a mix of R, G, and B that will 
represent white. 

2. Characterization 

When characterizing a device, a target is recorded by the input device, 
or sent to an output device. A target (test chart) is a pattern of color 
patches with known color values. By comparing the color values 
recorded by the device (such as a scanner) to the known color values of 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

the target, the profiling program calculates a device's color profile. The 
profile is essentially a translation table of device -dependent color values 
to device-independent color values (with input devices), or vice-versa 
(with output devices); for example, if the profile is for an input device, 
it translates device-dependent colors seen by the device into the device- 
independent profile connection space (PCS, which is CIE Lab space). If, 
on the other hand, it is for a profile of an output device, the table pro- 
vides translation from the profile connection space to the device-depen- 
dent colors of the output device. 

To perform either step, especially when calibrating a monitor, it is advisable 
to use a hardware device like a colorimeter or a spectrophotometer to mea- 
sure color. 

We discuss profiling only briefly in this book, focusing mainly on pro- 
filing your monitor and your pr inter (s). 

Camera Profiles 

e. g., Raw Shooter and Capture One 

There are two types of camera profiles: generic camera profiles and custom 
camera profiles-, the latter are for specific cameras. All RAW converters come 
with quite good generic profiles. Some of them also support custom profiles. 
* For some RAW converters, you may also buy good third-party camera 

Creating your own camera profiles can be very tricky since targets 
must be shot under highly controlled lighting conditions. Additionally, 
individual cameras of the same model can vary significantly: certain cam- 
eras vary more than others within type and brand. For more details on 
camera profiling, see one of our RAW conversion books ([13]). 

Printer Profiles 

Such as the dpi or quality settings 

There is no single profile for a printer. A printer profile is always specific to 
that printer using a specific paper, ink set, and a specific driver and its set- 
tings/* Profiles for different types of printing paper also vary significantly. 

When profiling a printer, a target is printed using precisely the printer 
settings, ink, and paper specified by the profile. Once the print has dried 
(from one to 24 hours), the color values of the print are measured using either 
a spectrophotometer or a profiled scanner (less accurate). By comparing 
known values of the color patches of the target to those of the measured 
patches of the print, the profiling software produces the printer profile. 

Fortunately, you don't need to invest in a costly spectrophotometer 
and profiling software; you can use several profiling services that do this job 
for you. Look up "printer profiling service" in your favorite search engine. For 
more details on printer profiling, see section 3.8. 

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3.6 Profiling Your Monitor 


3.6 Profiling Your Monitor 

As stated earlier, an accurate monitor profile is the basis for highly accurate 
color-managed workflow. When calibrating your monitor, you have a choice 
of doing so by eye or with specialized hardware. 

When profiling your monitor, begin by turning it on and leaving it on 
at least 30 minutes before beginning any calibration. To perform the cali- 
bration, follow the instructions provided by your choice of tool, whether 
calibrating by eye or using hardware -based tools as those discussed below. 

Be aware that room lightning, the color of your walls and desktop, and 
even your clothing, can influence precise calibration. 

-> Before starting to calibrate and profile your 
monitor, make sure you have set a display 
color depth of at least 24 bits. 

Calibration by Eye 

Photoshop for Windows comes with a utility called Adobe Gamma that lets 
you calibrate your monitor. With Mac OS X there is a similar utility called 
ColorSync Calibrator. Both utilities use your eyes as their measuring instru- 
ment, which is better than nothing at all but not as good as a hardware- 
based calibration. 

Hardware-Based Calibration 

■4 With hardware-based calibration packages 
such as huey™ [76] or Spydenexpress ([67]) 
for about USD $90, there is hardly an excuse 
for not using one of these hardware-based 
monitor profiling packages devices if you care 
for color confidence in your work! 

Although calibrating your monitor by eye is better than doing no calibra- 
tion at all, if accuracy and precision are important to you, you should use a 
hardware-based, color-measuring device, e.g., a spectrophotometer or colo- 
rimeter, to achieve much more precise results. There are several reasonably 
priced packages currently available: $90-$270 for a complete kit." 

We use and recommend GretagMacbeth (now X-Rite) Eye- One Dis- 
play 2. 

The entire calibration and profiling process will take you about ten 
minutes. Once a good initial calibration is achieved, the next calibration 
will be much faster. 

* Your choices include: X-Rite Eye-One 
Display 2 [78], Datacoior's Spyder2express, 
Spyder2Pro and SpydeBEIite products [67], 
and the entry level device huey that is sold by 
Pantone [76] as well as byX-Rite[78]. 

Calibration Settings 

We recommend using the following values when calibrating and profiling a 

White point 



6,500 K (D65) 


100-120 cd/m 2 

We recommend these values even for prepress work (where a white point of 
5,000 K is the standard) and even if you work on a Mac where a gamma of 
1.8 is traditional (see also side note). 

-► A luminance of 100-120 cd/m 2 may imply 
that you have to turn down your monitor 
brightness to about 15% of its maximum. Do 
so! This will also help prevent eye tiredness. 
If your primary work is for press printing, and 
your profile kit allows for this setting, go for a 
white point between 5.600 and 6.000 Kelvin 
as recommended by the Swiss UGRA: 
h ttp://www. ugra. ch 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

Calibrating and Profiling Using Eye-One Display 2 

-> A description of monitor calibration using The Eye-One Display2 package from X-Rite ([78]) includes software (Eye- 
the quite inexpensive huey kit may be found One Match) for calibrating and profiling monitors, as well as a sensor (colo- 
in FotoEspresso 2/2006 at rimeter). It supports both Mac and Windows, and allows the calibration of CRTs as well as LCDs and laptop displays. To use it to calibrate your moni- 

1. Launch Eye-One Match (EOM) and select the monitor from the list of 
devices you can profile. We recommend using Advanced mode. 


Figure 3-13: 

Startup screen of Eye-One Match: 

Select the monitor to profile 

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F/'gi/re 3-74: Recommended settings for your 
monitor calibration 




Select the type of monitor you intend to calibrate (CRT, LCD or Laptop), 
then Click *^> to continue. 

The first task is to calibrate the sensor (not your monitor). Follow the 
instructions given on the screen. (Help will provide you with additional 

Select your target calibration settings. We recommend the values shown 
in figure 3-14. ^^ will take you to the next step. 

Attach the sensor to your monitor, using either the suction-cup (if cali- 
brating a CRT), or by attaching the lead weights to your sensor cable 
and letting them dangle on the backside of the monitor. If calibrating an 
LCD, you may have to tilt the monitor backward a bit, so that the sensor 
lies flat on the screen. 

Downloaded from: 

3.6 Profiling Your Monitor 


Figure 3-15: 

Eye-One Display! colorimeter 

6. Begin the calibration phase using the controls on your monitor, if it has 
them. (Skip this step if you are calibrating a laptop or LCD without 
controls, and continue with step 9). 

You will set the contrast control to maximum, and then slowly 
reduce it until the indicator is inside the green area and close to o. Don't 
worry: Eye- One Match will guide you through this calibration. 

If possible, place your on-screen display (OSD) menu somewhat off 
the middle of your display. It should not interfere with your Eye-One 
Match screen. 

7. Press Sta rt to have EOM begin measuring the contrast values, then Sto p 
and ^> to begin calibration of the RGB controls. This step will set the 
control dials so that the monitor's white point is set close to the intended 
color temperature (6,500 K or 5,000 K). 

This may be achieved either by adjusting an OSD setting on the 
monitor choosing a color temperature of 6,500° K, or by setting the 
monitor's R-, G- and B-controls, if any. In this step, all three colored bars 
should be in the green area for optimum calibration. The Eye- One 
Match screen will provide useful feedback. 

8. Next, set luminance using your monitor's brightness controls. A 
luminance of 100-140 cd/m 2 is recommended for LCD monitors. If 
your calibrate a laptop display, you may have to reduce the value to 
100-120 cd/m 2 . For CRT monitors, providing less brightness, you will 
probably also have to chose 100 cd/m 2 . 

9. This finishes the calibration phase. Eye- One Match now will start the 
actual characterization: it will display a number of color patches and 
measure their values. You won't need to do anything during this approx- 
imately five-minute process. 

Figure 3-16: Use your monitor control to 
bring the contrast marker near the zero value. 




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Figure 3-17: If your monitor has RGB controls, 
set your target white point. 


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'■■"■■' ; | "' 

1> L 4ltaiV*l- IJM 

Figure 3-18: Set the luminance using your 

brightness control of the monitor to a target 

value of 120-150 cd/m 2 . 

Downloaded from: 


3 Color Management for Printing 

10. Once the characterization is finished, Eye- One Match will display the 
values used and then display a diagram of the resulting color space (fig- 
ure 3-19). 

Figure 3-19: 

EOM shows the profiling values and the 

monitor color space. Enter a descriptive 

profile name. 


Click the right arrow to save your Monitor profile. 
JIT Activate reminder for the monitor calibration 
(4 Weeks Mj| 

EOM will also prompt you for a profile name. Choose a descriptive name 
reflecting the tool used, the make of the monitor, as well as the values used; 
for example, if your are using EOM to calibrate an NEC 2180 monitor with 
X values, a suggested name might be "EOM-NEC2180-D65-G2.2." You may 
also want to include the date. 

Eye- One Match will save the ICC profile to the appropriate folder, 
depending on your operating system, and will immediately make it the 
active and default monitor profile. In Windows and with Adobe Gamma 
installed, you should move Adobe Gamma out of your start folder to pre- 
vent it interfering with the correct loading of the new monitor profile when 
Windows starts up. 

Once you have completed these profiling steps, do not change any 
monitor settings without re-calibrating. 

For LCD monitors, we recommend that you re-calibrate and re-profile 
about every four weeks. With CRTs, every second week would be prefera- 

Downloaded from: 

3.7 Photoshop Color-Management Settings 


3.7 Photoshop Color-Management Settings 

Before beginning to work with Photoshop, set up the program with your 
personal color- management preferences. The way color settings are made is 
similar among all Adobe applications since Adobe Creative Suite l (CSi). 
When using CS2 or CS3, you may use centralized color settings. These set- 
tings will be used (by default) by all other CS2/CS3 applications, as well. 
With CS2 (or later), the settings may be done in Bridge. 

Photoshop probably offers the most advanced color-management sup- 
port of any application. For that reason, its color settings offer many differ- 
ent options and parameters. 

To begin setting your color-management preferences, select Edit ► 
Color Settings to open the color-setting dialog. Figure 3-20 shows how we 
set the Color Settings in Photoshop. 

With Mac OS and CSi (or previous versions), 
you will find this 'Color Settings' dialog in 
your Photoshop Preferences. 

Color Settings 

» For more information on color settings, search For "setting up 
\ J color management" in Help, This term is searchable from any 
""vr Creative Suite application. 

Settings: | Custom ^ j] " 



Working Spaces - 





Adobe RGB (1993) 

U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 

Dot Gain 20% * 

Dot Gain 20% * 

— Color Management Policies 

Preserve Embedded Profiles 


CMYK: Ph . eserve Embedded Profiles ^J 
Gr ^ ! [preserve Embedded Profiles >] 



Fewer Options 
R Preview 


Convert to Working RGB 
Profile Mismatches: R^ Ask When Opening |7 Ask When Pasting 
Missing Profiles: ft? Ask When Opening 

Conversion Options 


Adobe (ACE) 


Relative Colorimetric T 
(^ Use Black Point Compen 
W Use Dither (3-bit/channe 


Advanced Controls 
| Desaturate Monitor Colors By: 
Blend RGB Colors Using Gamma: 



| 1.00 


Figure 3-20: 
Photoshop color settings 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

We use either Adobe RGB (1998) or 
ProPhoto RGB. 











F/'gc/re 3-27: Recommended working spaces 
for prepress work in Europe 

Working Spaces 

Here, you define your default working spaces for the various color modes 
(RGB, CMYK, Grayscale and Spot Color). The RGB working space is the 
most important for photographers.* The CMYK working space is important 
only when converting RGB images to CMYK. The profile selected here is 
used as the destination color space. In the United States, U.S. Web-Coated 
(SWOP) V2 is the best choice for CYMK, if your print shop does not provide 
you with different instructions. 

Note: We ignore settings for CMYK and Gray here, as we only cover 
RGB color setup in our workflow. If you live in Europe, your CMYK 
setting should either be Euroscale Coated or ISO Coated. If you are 
mainly preparing your images for prepress, use ECI-RGB as your default 
RGB color space, in which case your settings might look like that in 
figure 3-21. 

Dot Gain 20, Photoshop's default value, is usually appropriate when you 
work with grayscale images. If your print shop gives you different values, use 
them. The same is true for spot color. 


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Figure 3-22: We recommended these settings 
for your Color Management Policies. 

Color Management Policies 

With Color Management Policies, you define the default action that Photo- 
shop takes when you open an image or paste pixels into your opened image, 
and when no profile is embedded or the color space of the image is not the 
same as your current working space. Again, you can set this for RGB, CMYK, 
and grayscale images. 

In most cases, Preserve Embedded Profiles is the best choice. The only 
reasonable alternative is to choose Convert to Working. Selecting Off rarely 
makes sense in a color-managed workflow. If you choose Off, color manage- 
ment will still take place. With off, the colors of the image will be treated as 
if the image is the current working space. When the image is saved, no pro- 
file will be embedded. The check boxes allow you to define Photoshop default 
actions when a mismatch is found. If a box is not checked, Photoshop will 
execute the action selected for the particular color mode. When a box is 
checked, Photoshop will prompt you about what action it should take. 

Figure 3-23: We recommended these settings 
for your Conversion Options. 

Conversion Options 

Using the Engine drop-down menu, you can select the color engine (color- 
management module) you want to use. We prefer Adobe (ACE) because it is 
probably better than ICM (Microsoft Windows) or ColorSync (Mac OS) and 
it will be the same on Mac and Windows. 

As for Intent, you should choose Relative Colorimetric or Perceptual for 
photos (see section 3.4 " Color Space Mapping"). 

Downloaded from: 

3.7 Photoshop Color-Management Settings 


The Use Black Point Compensation option should be checked. It helps 
when you are converting images from one profile to another by adapting the 
black point of the image to that of the destination space, thereby ensuring 
that the full tonal range of your destination is used (e.g., a printer). 

The Use Dither (8-bit/channel images) setting is effective only when 
converting 8-bit images from one color space to another. If the source color 
is not present in the destination space, Photoshop will try to simulate the 
source color using dithering. This may improve the color visual accuracy, 
but at the same time it will introduce some random noise (due to dithering) 
into your image. 

-> If, however, the supplier of a profile (e.g., in 
the profiles supplied with some ink jet papers) 
states otherwise, follow his advice! 
There are also some recommendations 
stating that Use Black Point Compensation 
should also be unchecked when using a 
Perceptual rendering intent. 

You should experiment on your own to find 
the optimum setting for "Use Dithering". 

Advanced Controls 

Leave these settings unchecked as shown in figure 3-20 at page 69. 

Photoshop is not particularly intuitive when it comes to finding the monitor 
profile in use. So use this method to find out which monitor profile is cur- 
rently active: 

Windows: Right-click on some free space of your desktop. Select Properties. 
A Display Properties dialog box will pop up. Select the Settings tag and 
click the Advanced button. Select the Color Management tab. This will 
show a dialog box with all monitor profiles installed. The profile currently 
active is highlighted (see figure 3-24 for Windows XP). 

Here, you may add further monitor profiles, delete installed 

ones, and make another of the existing profiles your default 

monitor profile. You may have to restart RawShooter or 

Photoshop to activate or apply this change. 

If you are running Windows XP and have MS Color Control 

Panel installed ([73]), you may also use WinColor. Go to tab 

Devices and select Displays to see the profile associated with 

your display. 

, .1 
Mac OS X: Call up System Preferences (you may find 'J in 

your dock). Select Displays and activate tab Color. The dialog 
will list all monitor profiles installed and highlight the one cur- 
rently active (figure 3-25). 

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Figure 3-24: Finding the System Monitor profile in Windows XP 

Figure 3-25: 

Current monitor profile in 

Mac OS X 

-> Photoshop and most modern color- 
managed applications get their monitor 
profiles from the Mac OS X system settings. 

Downloaded from: 


3 Color Management for Printing 

* For example see Hahnemuehle [92], Moab 

[105] or Tetenal [115]. You will find more 

manufacturers of fine art papers on page 292. 

Most of them provide ICC profiles for some or 

all of their papers on their Internet site, covering 

several of the fine art printers from HP, Epson 

and Canon. 

3.8 Profiles for Your Printer 

Having set up your CMS settings in Photoshop and calibrated and profiled 
your monitor, it's time to think about profiling your printers. You must per- 
form a profile for each combination of printer + printer- quality settings + 
paper + ink. Let us assume we deal with just one printer, e. g., an Epson 
R2400, and only use standard Epson inks for that printer. In this case, we 
still have a separate ICC profile for each type of paper and for each quality 
or resolution- setting of the printer. If you want to use glossy, semigloss and 
matte, we will need three different profiles, as each paper has a different 
gamut. Even if you want to use only two different types of matte paper, e.g., 
"Epson Archival Matte" or "Hahnemuehle PhotoRag", you will need two 
different profiles. 

There are several ways to get a profile for your printer+ink+paper set: 

1. The profile may be part of your printer kit or may be downloaded 
from the Web site of the printer maker. 

These profiles will only cover the original maker's inks and some papers 
the printer's manufacturer sells. These are "canned profiles" that do not 
consider individual derivations for your specific printer. They are a 
good start, depending on the manufacturer, the printer and the varia- 
tions of the printer line. For the Epson R2400 or the HP B8190 paper 
these manufacturers' profiles will give up to 95% of the maximum qual- 
ity a custom profile could provide. 

2. When using a third-party paper, the paper manufacturer may provide 
profiles for their papers and some well-known fine art printers: Epson 
P2100/2200 with Epson UltraChrome inks and other manufacturer's 
papers/ If a new printer hits the market, it usually takes a few months 
until the profiles are uploaded to the paper manufacturer's Web site. 

3. Some suppliers of third-party inks provide generic profiles for their 
own inks that are profiled with often-used papers for some well-estab- 
lished printers: Lyson [102] offers profiles for several Epson and HP 
printers for their inks and their papers. You should also have a look at 
the Web site of Bill Atkinson [80] and his high-quality profile effort. 

4. There are several companies out there that sell profiles for different 
printers and inks, e.g., Digital Domain, Inc. ([83]). 

5. There are several services that produce a custom profile for you: 

A) You download a print target from the service's Web site. 

B) You print the target using your specific printer, ink and paper (and 
other printer settings), and send the print to the service by regular 

Downloaded from: 

3.8 Profiles for Your Printer 


C) The service will measure your target print, generate the profile and 
e-mail it to you. 

D) You then install the profile. 

The cost of this service varies from $30-$8o per RGB profile/ and is 
often lower if you order several profiles at once. 

This is definitely not a bad choice for custom profiles. It avoids the 
cost of expensive printer-profiling software and hardware, plus the pro- 
filing is done by experienced personnel. Some companies restrict their 
services to specific printers or makers. You will find a list of profile ser- 
vices in appendix D. 

6. Build your own custom profile. 

The next section describes this in detail. 

* Ordering CMYK profiles, needed for press 
work, is somewhat more expensive. However, 
photographers only rarely need CMYK profiles - 
at least when printing with Inkjet or LightJet or 
direct photo printers. 

Profiling Your Printer 

Profiling a printer follows a basic scheme: 

i. You select an appropriate target with well-known color patches, and 
print that target on the printer to be profiled. When printing, use the 
paper and ink set you intend to use. 

You should use the same printer driver settings for print resolution, 
paper-type and other settings that you will use later on. It is strongly 
recommended that you save these settings using a descriptive name; 
most printer drivers allow this. Avoid any color- correction settings at 
this point. 

Also, avoid any further color correction in the application you print 
from, e.g., Photoshop. 

2. Let the print dry for at least one hour; 24 hours is better. 

3. Now the colors of the print must be measured (there are several ways to 
do it) and profiling software will calculate the resulting ICC printer pro- 
file. Usually, it installs the profile immediately. Otherwise, you have to 
install it, using a method that is appropriate for your operating system 
(see section 3.9). 

There are several methods for measuring the colors of your target print: 

A) Spectrophotometer. 

This is the most accurate way to do this job, although a good photo- 
spectrometer is about $8oo-$iooo. We recommend Eye-One Photo (or 
Eye- One Proof) by X-Rite. We also saw some favorable reports on 
PrintFIX PRO by Datacolor ( [6y]) y priced at about $ 550 US, but we have 
no experiences of our own with this newer package. 

Most printer profiling packages offer several 
different print targets. The more color patches 
a target provides, the more precise your 
profile can be. But with more patches, the 
effort to measure them increases. There are 
profiling devices, that will read these printed 
targets with their patches automatically 
(e.g., DTP-41, DTP-70, or hiO by X-Rite [78]), 
but for most photographers, their price 
is prohibitive. For such photographers, a 
standard spectrophotometer using a ruler 
to lead the device across a patch row will be 
sufficient. Such a ruler is, for example, part of 
the h Photo kit or the h Proof kit by X-Rite. 

Downloaded from: 


3 Color Management for Printing 

* Instead of buying PrintFIX, we recommend 

that you spend some more money and 

buy PrintFIX PRO, which comes with a 

spectrocolorimeter and will give much better 

results (profiles). 

B) Dedicated patch-reader. 
The patch-reader is a small, dedicated scanner that reads the patches of 
the target print (e. g., as part of the PrintFIX kit by Datacolor [67])! It is 
much cheaper than a spectrophotometer, but not as accurate. We have 
found it to be the least- accurate method. 

C) Standard flatbed scanner for acquiring the patch values. 
This is probably the cheapest way to do the scanning. The accuracy of 
the method depends very much on the (color) quality of the scanner. 
The scanner itself should first be profiled. Some profiling packages, e.g., 
MonacoEZcolor, scan a scanner target together with the printed target 
and (internally) do the profiling of the scanner first. Based on this 
"profile- enabled scanner," it interprets the color values of the patches of 
the printed target. 

This is a rather inexpensive and easy way for measuring the printed 
target, but for several reasons is less accurate than method A. Its accu- 
racy should be about the same as standard canned printer profiles and 
may be a cheap source of profiles, if using a third-party ink set or paper, 
where no generic profile is available. 

D) You may send your printed target image to a profiling service. In this 
case, you should use the target the service provides on their Web site, 
and should accurately follow the instructions provided. 

The accuracy of theses profiles should be as good as method A, and 
may even be better, as the service personnel probably have more experi- 
ence than you do. The processing usually takes two to three days plus 
the time it takes to send the print via regular mail. The cost per profile 
is $35-$8o. 

You may improve and optimize your profile using a profile editor, which is 
Since version 33, you may also edit profiles part of some of the printer profiling packages (e.g., Eye-One Proof or Profile- 
using Eye-One Match which is part of all Maker Pro by X-Rite or DoctorPro by Datacolor) . This, however, should only 
Eye-One packages (e.g., Eye-One Photo). be done when having gained some experience with profiling. 

Printer Profiling Using Eye-One Photo 

Eye-One Photo is a profiling kit by X-Rite that consists of the software Eye- 
One Match (EOM), a spectrophotometer Eye- One Pro, a scanner target 
(reflective) and a Mini-ColorChecker. It may be used to profile displays, 
scanners, printers, and cameras, costs about $1,500, and runs on Mac OS X 
and Windows. For profiling a printer, use the follow steps: 

1. Launch Eye-One Match (EOM) and select the printer for profiling (see 
figure 3-26). 

Downloaded from: 

3.8 Profiles for Your Printer 



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Select the type of target you want to print (figure 3-27). EOM offers 3 
types: a very simple one (ii Easy RGB l.x.txt), the standard target with 
288 patches* and a TC9.18 target for best quality (ii RGB 1. 5.txt). The 
TC9.18 target should only be used if you use a device that scans the 
printed patches automacially. If you profile a PostScript printer, your 
choices may be reduced to just 1 or 2 targets. For inkjets, we recommend 
using "ii RGB l.x.txt". Now click Print to print the target. 

Figure 3-26: 

Eye-One match with "Printer" 
selected for profiling 

* ii RGB ixtxt, which we recommend for 
inkjet printers 

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Select the printer to profile and 

the target type 

Downloaded from: 


3 Color Management for Printing 

-> 1/l/e strongly recommend that you make 

notes about your printer driver settings and 

additionally save these settings in the printer 

driver using a descriptive name. 


The print dialog of the operating system will display and should already 
be configured correctly However, check that all driver color manage- 
ment is disabled, and that all other driver settings are appropriately set 
for your target: 

A) correct paper type is selected 

B) print resolution or quality settings are those you intend to use 
later on with that paper 

C) all other settings, e.g., ink-set, ink-density, etc., are correctly set to 
those values you intend to use in your profile. 

This setup is dependent on your operating system, your printer (and 
printer driver), and may even depend on optional installed compo- 
nents, or paper and ink-set used. 

It may well be worth writing down and saving these settings for later 
use. When everything is set correctly, click on Print. 

Let the print dry for at least 1 hour. We prefer to wait for about a day 
before we proceed. 

Restart Eye-One-Match; again select the printer for profiling and the 
target type used before. Activate the option Measure the chart and click 

-* If you scan a lot using Eye-One Pro, it may 

well be worth it to buy Eye-One iO, which 

will do the scanning in an automated way. 

This will allow you to use targets with more 

patches, resulting in better (more precise) 


EOM will ask you to calibrate your spectrometer by placing it on its 
profiling base. Press the calibration button at the site of the spectrom- 
eter. When EOM informs you that the calibration was successful, con- 
tinue with ^ . 

Select strip-mode for measuring. Put your target print on your desktop 
and put a white paper underneath (if your paper is not reasonably 
opaque) to prevent the color of your desktop from distorting the colors 
of the patches. Use the transparent plastic ruler to guide the spec- 
trometer along the patches, as shown in figure 3-28. 

To make sure that your measurements are not falsified by the color 
of your desktop shining through the paper of your target, you should 
put one or two sheets of the same paper below the target you scan. 

Now scan, line by line, and release the button of the spectrometer at 
the end of your sweep. EOM will indicate if the measurement sequence 
for the row was not OK. In that case, repeat the last sweep. Repeat this 
step for each row of patches. Click -^ when all rows are scanned. 

The first time you scan the patches, it will take some time to get the 
right feeling and the right speed for scanning. Scanning several targets 
will, however, provide experience, and scanning will become smooth. 

Downloaded from: 

3.8 Profiles for Your Printer 


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Figure 3-28: 

Select "Strip Mode" and 
start reading the patches 
of your printed target. 

8. You may save the measurements. Continue with <±-> . 

9. Now EOM will automatically calculate the printer profile and ask for a 
profile name when finished. Use a descriptive name that includes the 
printer name, the paper used and, optionally, special settings used. 
Clicking Save As will save the new profile and install it. 

Please keep in mind that this profile is only valid for the specific printer, the 
paper used for profiling, the ink set, and the specific driver settings used. If 
any of these parameters change, you should create a new profile. This may 
happen when an ink supplier changes its ink recipe, without informing the 
customer; this happens from time to time. If your prints do not look as 
expected after replacing ink or using another batch of paper, profile again. 
You may use the same printer profile for Mac OS and Windows, pro- 
vided the drivers work the same and offer the same settings. This should be 
true if you use the original manufacturer drivers of companies like HP, 
Canon or Epson. With third-party drivers, e.g., with Linux or Unix, or 
RIPs, you will have to profile again. 

Note: When doing profiling, you should take your time and work very 
carefully and thoroughly. Take notes on what you are doing step by step. 
This will be of help when reconstructing what went wrong (or right). 

Downloaded from: 


3 Color Management for Printing 

3.9 Installing and Uninstalling Profiles 

* However, you may use Windows "Jem" 
profiles os well. 

7 These profiles ore accessible to all users 

of the system, however, you need to have 

administrator-level permission to set, add or 

delete them. 

2 These profiles are accessible only to the 

specific user and may be added or delete by 

the user. 

3 These profiles are those managed by 

Mac OS X and should be left alone. 

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Profiling software, in most cases, automatically installs freshly generated 
profiles. If you download profiles, you may be lucky getting executable files 
that also install the profiles. In some cases, though, you will have to install 
them manually: 

Mac OS X Profiles use the file name extension "ice"/ Simply move or copy 
the profile to one (or several) locations given below: 

Mac OS X System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ 1 

-wser/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ 2 
Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ 3 

Mac OS 9 System Folder/ColorSnyc Profile/ 

Adobe applications use an additional location: Library/Application Support/ 
Adobe/Color/Profiles/ for some profiles. This location is for general use of 
Adobe applications. They should not be used for device- specific profiles, but 
only for new profiles for working spaces (e. g. to add ECI-RGB as a general 
work space). 

To uninstall a profile, simply delete it or move it to another location. 

Windows With Windows, profiles use either the file name extension 
".icm" or "ice" (both types may be used). Right-click on the profile file. A 
popup menu will appear. Select Install Profile and Windows will install the 
profile for you. The profiles are stored in the following locations: 

T - 

Figure 3-29: Color Control Panel for Windows XP 

Windows Vista c:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\color\ 

Windows XP c:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\color\ 

Window 2K c:\winnt\system32\spool\drivers\color\ 

Window NT c:\windows\system32\color\ 

(In all cases we assume, that your operating system is installed 
in drive "c:"). 

You should use the same method to uninstall the profile (this 
time selecting Uninstall Profile). 

Avoid keeping too many installed profiles, especially with 
older Windows versions. For this reason, uninstall those pro- 
files not needed, yet do keep a copy of them somewhere. 

In Windows XP, the Microsoft utility Color Control Panel or 
WinColor may be downloaded from [73]. It facilitates color 
management administration for Windows XP by installing and 
uninstalling ICC profiles. The utility also allows displaying the 
color gamut of a color space or profile, and compares the gam- 
uts of two color spaces. 

Downloaded from: 

3.1 Finding a Printer's Black Point and White Point 


3.1 Finding a Printer's Black Point and White Point 

You will need to print a white and black ramp to find out where your printer 
starts, to differentiate tonal values, especially when optimizing an image for 
printing to a specific printer. 

Using your printer profile selected in Photoshop, print the B&W-Ramp 
using your standard printing method. (A free version is here: [37]; a more 
compact version is part of our test image of figure 3-32 at page 81). Let the 
print dry thoroughly. Inspect the print to find out at what black and what 
white values you can differentiate in the black/gray patch field from the 
enclosed black area and from the previous patch field. Use a bright white 
light source for inspection (preferably, a D50 light source or diffuse day- 
light). Write down this value. Do the same for the white or almost- white 

Printer white point & black point test ramp 

I 2 4 5 B in 12 U 16 IS 














50 » n H H 140 114 IS 130 1*0 150 1» 170 190 1» »0 310 2» 2tt 240 



Grayscale from RGB 50 r 50, 50 to RGB 240 r 240 r 240 

Grayrak torn RGB C. 0.0 lo RGB Z5»H<255 



255 254 253 252 251 25B 24* 

148 247 




243 242 241 240 238 23* 232 230 22B 226 224 222 

PGB value? 

© 20O6 Uwe Stein mueller 

Don't become frustrated if your printer shows a long black ramp, especially 
when printing to a laser printer. This is usually not adequate for fine art 
printing. The undistinguished black ramp will probably go up to about 

Figure 3-30: 

Image to find your printer's 

black-point and white-point 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

Figure 3-31: Restrict your tonal values to the white point 
and black point of your printer. 

40-44, and the white ramp down to 251. With a good fine art printer, how- 
ever, those values should be much tighter (about 10-20 for black; 252-253 
for white). Remember, you have to repeat this test for each type of paper used. 
These are the values to which you should restrict your tonal 
values, using Levels in Photoshop when preparing your image for 
printing (figure 3-31). 

Don't use original images, but rather a copy made for print- 
ing, or use adjustment layers. This might look like reducing the 
tonality of an image, but as you see in the print of the B &W-Ramp, 
all pixel values beyond the black-point will be printed with the 
darkest black the printer can produce, and will not be distin- 
guishable from black. 

All pixel values lighter than this white point will not be dis- 
tinguishable from the white of the paper. 

With some pictures, however, you may not want differenti- 
ated structures in your shadows, which may even show some 
noise. Have them quite dark or black. In this case, use a lower 
value for your black point. 

If you intend to use your image for a publication as part of a DTP 
project, and your image shows much white (or almost white) at the borders, 
it is often better to increase the white point a bit more into a light gray so 
that the white of an image will be set slightly apart from the white of the 
paper or the display. 

3.11 Sanity-Check 

* Bill Atkinson's image is stored in CI E Lab 

mode. While this is no problem with 

Photoshop, some applications can't properly 

handle this image mode. For those, convert 

the image to a standard RGB mode (e.g., for 

printing using Qimage or Apple Aperture). 

compared to your image on screen 

After profiling, whether it's your monitor or printer, some sanity check 
should be done. There are some good images available on the Web that 
include different colors, grayscale ramps and so-called natural colors or 
memory colors like skin and face colors that are critical in an image. 

You may find the image of figure 3-32 at Uwe's Web site [79] and addi- 
tional useful images and test targets at Hutcheson Consulting [72] . Another 
good test image can be found with at the web site of Bill Atkinson [80]/ 
(Our own test image was built using some of the parts taken from Bill 
Atkinson's image - with his permission.) Use one of those images to verify 
your profile and settings. 

If the displayed image on your monitor is off, or the print on your 
printer using your profile is off, search for the source of the problem. With 
the monitor, you have to redo calibration and profiling. With a print, 
ensure you did not perform the color-management steps twice, e.g., in 
Photoshop and again in your printer driver. 

If, for example, your print is too dark,** often, the reason for this is a 
monitor that is too bright. With many LCD monitors you have to start 
your calibration process by turning your brightness way down! 

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3.11 Sanity-Check 


Figure 3-32: Our image for the sanity check of your monitor profile or your printer profile and printer settings 

When inspecting the image of figure 3-32 on screen, you should for example 
be able to clearly differentiate all 12 gray levels of the gray stepchart (see 
figure 3-32 ©). If not, your monitor probably has a poor setup - it might be 
too old or your brightness may be too high. In a print, all 12 steps should be 
clearly different iable. 

But let's do our inspection systematically. We will now describe how to 
inspect a print. However, much that pertains to prints is just as valid for 
images on monitors. When inspecting a print, use good bright light - either 
real daylight near a window or a daylight-like light source/ 

Let's start with the gray ramp @ and the colored ramps at ®. There 
should be no banding in any of the gradients ® and ©, and all gradients 
should run smoothly. There should also be no color cast at all in the © 
ramp. Neither should there be any color cast in the patches at ©. The RGB 
patches at © should also all be a neutral gray. A color cast may be recog- 
nized here more easily. 

* For dayligh t-iike ligh t sources, seethe 
description in section 8.1. 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

The patches at ® and © allow you to identify the tonal values (in the range 
from 0-255) that are distinguishable from pure black and pure white (plain 
paper). We have described this process in section 3.10 on page 79. The white 
point at the right of© lies outside the edge of the test image. This allows you 
to evaluate printers that make use of a gloss optimizer. 

22 25L 25fl Z4B Hfl Z47 2* 245 244 HJ 

Another good application for measuring 
Dm ax is Imatest [87]. 

Figure 3-33: This part shows pure white up to pure black and should have 
smooth gradations. 

If you are using the image for a test print, it might be interesting to get at 
least a rough value for the Dmax of your paper and printing technique. For 
this, you need a spectrophotometer. To measure Dmax we use BabelColor 
[62]* by first measuring the reflexion of the paper white and then measuring 
the reflection of the darkest black patch we can produce. You can find our 
pure black patch (D at the upper right corner of the test image. Dmax is the 
difference between this black patch and the L-value of the pure paper. 

Let's look more closely at black-and-white and 
inspect the photography at ®. This photograph con- 
tains a rich set of grays, from full black to pure white 
(plain paper). Further, it has a number of gradients. 
The image allows us to see how the printer is able to 
handle gray transitions. Naturally, there should be no 
color cast visible in this black-and-white image. Also 
some bronzing may show up here if the printer + ink 
+ paper combinations tends to bronze. For this, view 
the test print under different lighting conditions and 
also look at the print from a flat angle. (For more on 
bronzing, see section 3.13 at page 87.) 

Figure 3-34: Check that these RGB ramps 
show not strong banding and no inversion. 

Now look at the gamut ramps at ® again. The first three ramps represent the 
RGB primaries. Though not a primary ink of most inkjet printers, they 
should appear clear and clean. For most printers, the reproduction of blue 
is a critical. It should not look too purple. As mentioned before, the transi- 
tions of the ramps should be smooth and uniform. Banding in these ramps, 
if not minor, is an indication of a profile problem. Still worse if you see an 
inversion here, with the brightness first increasing, then decreasing and 
finally increasing again. 

When inspecting the RGB patch at ®, you should be able to clearly 
differentiate between adjacent hues. Most monitors and many printers as 
well as specific printer-profile combinations have difficulties clearly dif- 
ferentiating some greens and cyan. 

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3.11 Sanity-Check 




Skin colors can be inspected by using the faces © that stem from the Kodak 
test patch ®. In poor profiles these skin colors will easily be off. This may 
result in the skin of the Asian girl appearing a bit too yellow or too pink, a 
baby face that is unnaturally pink, or (and) some green may show up in the 
skin of the black baby 

The rest of® shows a variety of objects and images, including a shot 
of the Gretag Macbeth/X-Rite Mini ColorChecker. In a print, using a spec- 
trophotometer, you might even measure how close your print comes to 
original Lab values of the ColorChecker patches/ 

Now, let's see what the other photos 
of our test prints can tell us. The sky 
in image ® is slightly cyan, but 
should not be too cyan, otherwise 
your profile has a problem. And, 
well, the red rocks in the background 
are a bit pink - but that's OK. 

Image © shows aspen trees 
with leaves from bright yellow to 
darker yellow with a touch of 
orange. The trunks should show a 
pleasant contrast with a gradation 
of grays to black. 

The image © showing a CD player illustrates how the printer (or mon- 
itor) can handle shadow details while the reflections on the CD display a 
number of metallic shades. 

The strawberry image © allows 
you to evaluate the reds. The berries 
should look really appealing, the 
greens of the leaves should look 

The photography of the lava 
rock © shows some highlights as 
well as deep shadows. Close inspec- 
tion of the lava folds, with the help 
of a magnifying glass, allows you to 
judge the shadow differentiation of 

Figure 3S5: Skin colors ore "memory colors" 
and all faces should look natural. 

* If you have your own ColorChecker, 
compare these values to your own patches; 
otherwise Danny Pascale (Babelcolor) 
published the values of his version of the 
ColorChecker at [64]. 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

your printer/paper combination and that of your profile. These areas can 
also be used to see if you should use "Black Point Compensation" with your 
profile and to compare the shadow performance of different profiles. 
Depending on the software used to create the profile, you might get better 
results when Black Point Compensation is turned off for printing. With 
other profiles it should be turned on. Try both versions. 

The highlights of the image © 
should look neither yellow nor green, 
but instead bronze-metallic. Don't 
mind any black shadows here too much 
- they do contain real black or are very 
close to pure black, as you can see in 
Photoshop when you open the Info pal- 
ette and move the mouse across these 

When you have attained a good print of 

this test image, you should keep it as a 

visual reference for comparing new prints - e.g., using a new paper or a new 


3.1 2 Soft-Proofing and Gamut Warning 

You need the printer's ICC profile for this. 

Or printing technique, in the case of offset 
or rotogravure prin ting 

As stated previously, a printer may not be able to reproduce all the colors of 
an image accurately: the printer may have a smaller gamut than the gamut 
of the image. All color management can do is to prepare the printer to be as 
close as possible to the impression of the digital image. Before printing, it is 
often useful to view what a printed image will look like on your monitor. For 
this type of soft-proofing, the image is implicitly converted to a printer's 
color space,* and the result is displayed on the monitor. This is useful with 
inkjets to avoid costly and perhaps disappointing prints. It is still more 
important with commercial print runs, like offset prints, as those runs are 
much more expensive. Imagine a print run of 2,000 books with poor-qual- 
ity photos. To achieve an optimum or accurate proofing, your proofing 
device, e.g., your monitor, should be able to reproduce all colors that the 
other proofing device (the printer) may reproduce. As we saw in chapter 1, 
this may not be completely true if you soft-proof modern photo inkjet print- 
ers on your monitor, since modern photo inkjet printers have a gamut 
exceeding that of most current monitors, at least in some color areas. 

To set up soft-proofing in Photoshop, call up View ►Proof Setups 
Custom. The dialog box of figure 3-36 will appear. 

Select the profile of the printer you want to simulate with your proof ®. 
As with standard printing, ensure you use the printer profile that reflects 
the printer/" the type of paper used, the type of inks used and the proper 
printer settings. Leave Preserve RGB Numbers ® unchecked! Select your 

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3.12 Soft-Proofing and Gamut Warning 


rendering intent ©. As stated in section 3.4, page 62, select the rendering 
intent you will use later for printing or profile conversion. For photos, this 
should either be Perceptual or Relative Colorimetric. 

You should activate Black Point Compensation © and Simulate Paper 
Color © (see figure 3-36). The latter will also activate Simulate Black Ink ©. 




HQDf tJWwMTwn 



Q r E**imii»huTt*i 

Q &rimy Hrt {*■*!■ ii oaanwg "" 


W inDmOviMWi 

mm ] 

Figure 3-36: 

Proof setup in Photoshop 

If you want to do soft-proofing regularly, you should save these proofing 
settings and give them a descriptive name, including the printer simulated, 
as well as the paper and printer settings. 

To activate soft-proofing, select View ►Proof Colors (or just enter 
[ctrTl-fY] (Mac: (g)- \Y}). Using [Ctrl] - \T\ you may toggle proofing on and off 
(in most cases, for image optimization, it should be off). 

Gamut Warning 

After setting up soft-proofing, you may also activate Gamut Warning 
(View ► Gamut Warning or ffl-[cErT]-[Y~l> Mac: @-(S)-[7]). 

•u|J h q |j% WrtL^-lFcl (%*«■)■/» 

Figure 3-37: 

Image displayed with Gamut warning active. 
I is used as warning color and "U.S. Web 
Coated (SWOP) V2" as destination profile. 

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3 Color Management for Printing 

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When Gamut Warning is active, Photoshop will mark all areas of your 
image that use colors that are out of gamut of your target color space. Default 
marking color is gray Since gray is a color easily overlooked, we recom- 
mend selecting a different warning color, e.g., a loud and saturated magenta, 
which rarely occurs in photographic images. 

To set a new gamut warning color, e.g., gray should 
be a good one - select Edit ►Preferences ►Transparency 
& Gamut. Click on the Color field to display the color 
picker (see figure 3-38). 

If you did not do a custom proof setup in Photoshop 
and activate Gamut Warning or Proof Colors, the 
CMYK setting of your Working Spaces setting is used as 
a default (see figure 3-20, page 69). 

Again, you may toggle Gamut Warning on and off 
using either [^-[cErTl-IT] (Mac: (5]-0- 0) or going via 
the View menu. 

\m I 

Figure 3-38: Setup for the color for Gamut Warning in Photoshop 


What is Gamut Warning really good for? First, you will 
get an impression of which colors in your image may 
not be reproduced accurately, but will have to be remapped to different col- 
ors. This usually involves mapping highly saturated colors to less-saturated 
ones. It may also help to modify these colors (colored areas of the image), 
so that they fit well into the destination color space (usually the printer's 
gamut). Decreasing their saturation, or otherwise tuning these colors, may 
be done in a more controlled way than is done by automatic gamut map- 
ping, which may only be controlled by the selection of the rendering intent 
(see section 3.4, page 62). 

Even if Gamut Warning is not active, you will get a 
warning in the Color Picker dialog when you pick a 
color that is out of gamut of your target device 
(either selected explicitly by a proof setup or by 
default by your Photoshop Color Settings for 
CMYK). If you pick a color that is out of gamut, a 
triangle & will show up beside the selected color 
(figure 3-39, ®). If you click into the field ®, the 
selected color will be replaced by a color as close as 
possible and fit into the destination color space. 

ftp!"* *"k|5"~ 

Figure 3-39: Gamut Warning in Color Picker 

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3.13 Metamerism and Bronzing 


3.1 3 Metamerism and Bronzing 

Metamerism usually refers to a problem that may occur using some inks in 
prints, i.e., it occurs when colors look different under different lighting. It is 
very natural and well known to us. When there is almost no light, all cats 
look gray. When there is very bright light, colors may look bleached out 
because too much light is reflected. Similarly, printed colors are absorbing 
part of the light spectrum hitting the paper and reflecting other parts. When 
the lighting changes, the color spectrum and the intensity of the different 
wavelengths of the incoming light changes. This will lead to a different pat- 
tern of absorbed and reflected light waves. 

Under normal light, the metamerism effect may become a problem 
when two colors built up of different primary colors create the same (or 
similar) color perception under one light (say, a halogen-based lamp) but 
create a different color perception under another lighting (say, tungsten 
lamps). The metamerism phenomenon may create a problem when two 
colors change their visual color distance with changed lighting. To achieve 
a sound basis for color judgment in practically any color management sys- 
tem, D50 (daylight at 5,000 K) is defined as the standard lighting for inspec- 
tion of printed colors. Some printer-profiling packages and some RIPs 
allow compensation for a different lighting target/ 

The intensity of the metamerism with two colors may depend on the 
kind of inks used, the combination of primary inks with which the colors 
are built up, and the dithering method used by the printer driver or RIP. 
Some pigment inks are more prone to produce problematic metamerism. 
This was a problem with the second-generation Epson UltraChrome inks, 
but was reduced by its third-generation K3 inks. The effect may be reduced 
somewhat by different mixing of primary inks to achieve certain colors, 
and it may be reduced further by using different dithering patterns. This is 
why some RIPs reduced metamerism using second-generation Epson 
UltraChrome inks, e.g., using the Epson P2100/P2200 printer line. 

Bronzing is a phenomenon occurring with some inks, mostly black, due to 
their reflective properties. Under certain lighting conditions, correct inks or 
build-up color samples take on a slightly bronze appearance. On prints, this 
is usually disturbing and undesirable. Bronzing is an effect attributed to 
some pigment inks of the first- generation printers, e.g., the Epson P2000, 
and to a lesser extent of the second-generation printers like the Epson 
P2100/2200 (but also shows with some first generation pigmented inks from 
HP and Canon). The ink formulation of the third-generation of Ultra- 
Chrome inks eliminated this problem almost completely. (The same is true 
for the second generation of pigmented HP and Canon inks.) 

When a print shows disturbing bronzing, this effect may often be 
reduced or eliminated by framing the print under glass. 

* e.g., ImagePrint by Color Byte Software, 
as described in section 6.3 at page 173. 
Some of the profiling software - e.g., X-Rite's 
ProfileMaker - also allow you to adapt a color 
profile to a certain lighting conditions. 

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Fine Art Printing Workflow 

So far, we have discussed some printing techniques, papers, inks, 
and basic color management. We now introduce how to prepare 
an image for printing. Of course, you may simply open a master 
image in Photoshop, call up the print dialog and leave the process 
to Photoshop and the printer driver. This, however, may not lead 
to the most desirable results. With almost all images, some tuning 
of tonality and color will improve your image and result in better 

When an image is optimized and almost ready for printing, 
the final steps are scaling and sharpening. Both steps depend on 
your image size and your output method. So, they may have to be 
done for every print with a different size and for every different 
output method - whether that is inkjet or direct photo printing. 

At this time, we want to describe our own workflow for 
printing, which you may adapt to your own preferences and 

i Camera: Canon iDs Mk. II 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

* If you are working with one of the new 

all-in-one applications like Apple Aperture 

or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, not all of 

the points shown here can be done. The 

principles described, however, also applies 

to them. 

-> Keep con trast on the softer side, as you 

can add contrast during fine tuning, but it is 

very hard to get soft gradations from harsh, 

contra sty images. 

4.1 Basic Printing Workflow 

Printing workflow begins when you have converted a file from RAW to TIFF 
or JPEG, or imported your camera JPEG or scanned image/ Next, you edit 
your file: correct tilt, correct any problems with perspective, and crop your 
image (if necessary). Corrections of lens deficiencies may also be necessary: 
e.g., correcting lens distortions, vignetting, and chromatic aberrations. If 
there are dust patches, other blemishes, or unwanted objects in your image, 
remove them now or as early as possible in your workflow. If you need to 
remove blemishes later, before you print, use the same techniques described 
in our e-books DOP2000 [12] and DOP3002 [13]). 

You have already done some initial sharpening, but final sharpening 
should be left until the end of optimization. In fact, you might leave this 
step to your RIP, if it offers good output- specific sharpening. 

For this, your "first master" draft, you have made basic color correc- 
tions, and the image is now "correct," but still may not be satisfactory. 

The next step is to optimize the image, until it appears similar to what you 
had in mind when the picture was taken or the scan was made. This often 
requires tonal optimizations, including contrast enhancements and selec- 
tive color correction. We address this in sections 4.2 and 4.3. 

Most of these corrections can be applied, first globally, and then both 
selectively and locally. The result is an image (an image file), we refer to as 
our master image. 

The real printing workflow actually begins here (section 4.4). This implies 
that your image is pretty close to producing a good print, but you still need 
to fine-tune the result. It is also assumed that you are using a good printer 
profile. But a printing workflow is also about correcting imperfections in 
your profiles and/or printers. 

Take for example the zebras at page xvi 
(at the first pages of the book). 

4.2 Tuning Tonality 

Obtaining correct tonality is key in every good print. There are no hard- 
and-fast rules about what range or level of tonality is good and not so good. 
It very much depends on your image and on what you want to express. 

Take, for example, a photo of a foggy scene/ On one hand, you can 
make the image so soft that it looks like a hazy mess; on the other you can 
turn up the contrast so much that you lose all soft characteristics of fog. 

It is important to remember that we are discussing the tonality you create 
on a print. It is not possible to produce the same high contrast on paper as 
can be viewed on screen. Keep in mind that matte papers produce consis- 
tently lower contrast prints than the same image on semi-gloss or gloss 

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4.2 Tuning Tonality 


Tonality includes:* 

► Brightness 

► Contrast in: 




► Smoothness 

As always, begin by adjusting the global tonality as best as possible, and then 
continue working on local areas to improve tonality there. The core tools 
used to adjust tonality are Photoshop Levels and Curves. 

* Unfortunately, all these elements are related 
and must be tuned in careful steps. 


Brightness seems to be a basic property. But again, it always depends upon 
what you want to show in your print. Both very dark and very bright images 
can be beautiful. Equally important is where you display your images. This 
is the reason you should try to judge images under controlled light, carefully 
considering both brightness and light spectrum/ 

First, let's take a look at the different tonality ranges of an image. 

We use the Curves tool (black on the left, white on the right). The standard 
grid setting displays four horizontal segments. Roughly, the first quarter 
makes up shadows; the next two, midtones; and the last, highlights. Three 
regions must be treated carefully but play a different role for the viewer. 

► S = Shadow area 

► M = Midtones 

► H = Highlights 

* See chapter 8 " Image Evaluation and 
Presenting Fine Art Prints". 

Figure 4~v. 
Tonality regions 

If you |AJt]-c//'c/c the diagram, Photoshop will 
switch the resolution of the raster lines from 
four horizontal segments to ten horizontal 
segments and back. 

In all our Curves examples, we will have black 
to the left and white to the right! 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Figure 4-2: 
Showing only the midtones data 


The primary content of any image is in its midtones. You must be very care- 
ful to achieve good midtone contrast. Otherwise, you end up with a flat 
image. We show the following test (figure 4-2) to demonstrate that you do 
not lose content in an image by making the shadow range only black and the 
highlights white. 

In figure 4-2, we cut-off all data in shadows and highlights and stretched 
the midtones over the full range, from 0-255. As you can see, the entire 
content remains, but the image looks ugly and quite unrefined. 

One might conclude that highlights and shadows are "the icing on the 


m 3- 




%m I 

Without solid highlights and shadows, you cannot create a quality print. 
Both shadows and highlights are, in general, the more important parts. 


Shadows can be open or close to black. There are cases where complete 
black is not only acceptable but beautiful, as may be seen in the photo in 
figure 4-3- 

A solid black background works here, because the photo has a strong 
graphic character, and background details would be distracting. The rocks 
in our lighthouse photo cannot be only black. You must balance open 
shadows with overall contrast. You will realize that opening up shadows 
lowers the overall impression of contrast. 

There is an additional challenge in the shadow portion of digital 
images: most noise is hidden in the shadows. This implies that you may 
find it necessary to remove noise when you open up shadows substantially 
(see later in this chapter). 

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4.2 Tuning Tonality 


Figure 4-3: 

Gross - giving a very graphic Image. This 
image consists almost completely of dark 
shadows and some highlights. 


Highlights are largely a challenge during image capture. If you overexpose 
highlights, data are lost forever/ If you underexpose too much, you lose 
dynamic range and pictures tend to be noisy 

Correct highlights bring a proper sparkle to your images. If they are 
too strong, like in figure 4-4, all the smoothness and beauty of the photo 

* Traditional film is somewhat more 
forgiving due to its different sensitivity curve 
for light. 

Figure 4-4: 

Overly strong and blown-out highlights 

The other extreme is muddy highlights, like in figure 4-5. The image looks dull 
and dark. We must find a balance between these two extremes. If your origi- 
nal photo resembles the first sample (figure 4-4: blown- out highlights), 
there is little you can do to get a good, or even acceptable, print. The second 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

example still permits getting a good print, if we correct tonality and live 
with some level of noise. 

Figure 4-5: 
Muddy highlights 


|3~ p^" 


5//c/es or film negatives may cover a contrast 

range of about 8-9 stops, 

digital still cameras about 7-8 stops, 

and a print (using an Inkjet printer) 

about 5-6 stops. 


The correct contrast is vital for any good print. With too little contrast, you 
end up with muddy, flat-looking prints, but with too much contrast, you get 
harsh tonality. There is no general rule here, as it depends on your images and 
what qualities you want them to depict. Be aware that paper cannot repro- 
duce the contrast you see on screen. The same goes for brilliantly projected 
slides versus the same images on a print. Begin with slightly soft contrast, 
and tune the image for the balance you want. 

Note: Comparing the same image with different contrast is quite tricky, 
as the more contrasty image nearly always grabs your attention. This 
does not suggest that a higher- contrast image is the better choice. 
Generally, it is good practice to view a photo at higher contrast, to dis- 
cover whether you are missing an opportunity to improve your image. 
If the higher contrast is created at the expense of too highly compressed 
highlights and/or dark blocked shadows, then it is probably time to 
decrease it a bit. 

Global Tonality Tuning 

The first step in tonality tuning is to set global tonality as closely as possible 
to the final desired result. Global means that all pixels in an image are treated 
with the same transformation. What's more, this operation does not depend 

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4.2 Tuning Tonality 


on other pixels (we cover this later in this chapter in the section "Local 
Tonality Tuning"). 

Tonality Tuning Using Photoshop "Levels" 

Levels is a major tool for tuning tonality. It is easiest to understand its func- 
tion by looking at a sample image: 




1 -k^— ^B ■_ 

:F © 



Output l*^fc 



f/'gi/re 4-6: 

/.eve/s in action (preview on) 

We display the same image with preview "On" (figure 4-6) and "Off" (figure 
4-7). Levels in Photoshop has five sliders that are important to understand: 

► Three for the Input Levels (figure 4-6, ®) and 

► Two for the Output Levels (figure 4-6, ®) 

Figure 4-7: 

Levels in action (preview off) 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Input Levels 

Figure 4-8: 3 basic sliders for Input Levels 

Let's take a look at the Input Levels: We use Levels only in RGB mode. The 
histogram is some help in visualizing the distribution of different tones. It is 
not a good idea to correct by looking only at the histogram. We prefer to 
adjust Levels while viewing the full image. There are three triangles, each of 
which is a slider used to correct, from left to right: 

► Black Point A 

► Gamma (brightness) A 

► White Point & 

With this lighthouse photo, we use the Black Point slider (A) to achieve a bit 
more black in the shadows. We have to be very careful not to block the 
shadows too severely in the rocks. If, for example, we set the value to 9, all 
pixels having a value of 9 or less will have a value of zero after this operation. 
All other values are linearly transformed, and receive some lower (darker) 
values. If we do not correct the white point, as well, the entire image becomes 
just a bit darker, with additional contrast. 

The Gamma (Brightness) slider A remains at a default value 1.00, even 
though the slider will have moved a bit to the right. 

As said earlier, setting the White Point slider £} can be a balancing act. 
You want a slight sparkle, while maintaining a smoothness, in the high- 
lights. If, for instance, we set the value to 233, for example, all pixels at 233 
will be now become 255. All the other values are linearly transformed, and 
will be set to some higher (brighter) values. 

Output Levels: 




Figure 4-9: Output Levels 

Note: When correcting 

tonality in black-and-white 

images, sometimes you can 

correct a bit more aggressively, 

gaining a higher contrast. 

Doing so can often help a 

black-and-white image. 

Output Levels 

Output Levels becomes useful in a case where the printer (with its profile in 
use) cannot show a difference between lower black levels (o-x). Let's assume 
that the printer cannot show different black levels below 7. In such a case, we 
may push A of Output Levels up to 7. This means that the black values of 
zero are now transformed to 7, and all other values above that are linearly 
transformed. See section 3.10 on page 79 for more on this topic. 

Note that some images look perfectly fine with all black below a certain 
value, e.g., 7. For some of these images, we may need to make only very 
small corrections for the output white point O, as most well-made profiles 
compensate quite well. 

Always correct by visually inspecting an image, and not trusting the histo- 
gram alone. On the other hand, try to avoid removing too much shadow 
detail, and always think twice before clipping off highlights. 

We only perform Levels corrections using a new adjustment layer. By 
doing so, we "layer" corrections and still are able to fine-tune values later. 

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4.2 Tuning Tonality 


Tonality Tuning Using Curves 

Curves are more complex and also more powerful than Levels. In principle, 
you can do everything in Curves you can do in Levels, while the reverse is 
far from true. Our first example shows how you may simulate Levels using 



r g t 




1 C«* 1 

IflKt- 1 

**-. 1 


*« 1 

Qfrn- I 



A. ^~ ' 

Figure 4-10: 

Linear transformation with Curves. 

Of course, in some of these cases, it would be advisable to use Levels. But a 
linear curve can provide a good starting point for more advanced curve 

Figure 4-11: 

Some more advanced curves 

Here (figure 4-11), we start with the linear curve of figure 4-10 and try to 
achieve the following: 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

-» /A flat curve part will lead to low contrast 
in those tonal areas and steep curve parts will 
result in high contrast and may result in some 


► Slightly brighten the shadows (foreground rocks) 

► Increase contrast in the midtones and highlights (S-curve) 

Be careful that no section of your curve becomes too flat or steep, as the 
latter may result in posterization. 

-> Photoshop CSi and CS2 support two sizes 
for the Curves and Levels dialogs. You may 

switch by clicking at the symbol (EJ or EJj 
at the lower right side of the dialog box. In 
Photoshop CS3 click on the Curve Display 
Options triangle see or hide more options. 

Figure 4-12: 
Brightening curve 

Figure 4-13: 
Darkening curve 

Some Useful Standard Curves Shapes 

For minor global brightening/darkening, we use these curves: 

iffti 3 








Why do we use Curves here and not Levels? With Curves, we are able to 
tweak behavior more easily than with Levels, where we are unable to change 
the gamma curve used by Levels. 

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4.2 Tuning Tonality 


We use S-curves to enhance contrast (figure 4-14). This curve looks like a 
shallow S -curve, but it has a strong effect on an image. In our view, a major 
down side of curves is that minor changes often have dramatic (and even 
negative) results. 










Figure 4-14: 

S-curve to improve contrast 

What also happens, in this case, is that midtone contrast is nicely improved 
without compressing shadows and highlights too much. Especially in this 
image, shadows are very delicate, and we want to avoid this type of compres- 
sion. We use adjustment layers for Curves adjustments, and fix some prob- 
lems by changing the Advanced Blending Options: 

Layer Style 

r~ Drop Shadow 
r" Inner Shadow 
[ Outer Glow 
l~~ Inner Glow 
l~~ Bevel and Emboss 

V Contour 

r Texture 
T Satin 

f" Color Overlay 
r Gradient Overlay 
V Pattern Overlay 
r Stroke 

~ Blending Options 
— General Blending 

Blend Mode : | Norma | jj 

Opacity: i fl |l00 

' Advanced Blending 

Fill Opacity: , 

Channels: F £_ F Q. F B 


=A| 100 


I - Blend Interior Effects as Group 
F Blend Clipped Layers as Group 
F Transparency Shapes Layer 
I Layer Mask Hides Effects 
\~ Vector Mask Hides Effects 

- Blend IF: | Gray J 
This Layer: 41 / 35 


©< >© 

Underlying Layer: 









New Style... | 
F Preview] 

Figure 4-15: 

Advanced Blending settings to preserve 
the original shadows. 
Here, blending is controlled by sliders ® 
and ®. At first the sliders will look like 
this: A By pressing the (aE) key while 
dragging the left or right part, you may 
split the slider into two separate parts. 
In the tonal values in-between, the 
effect will gradually diminish. 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Figure 4-16: 
Midtones S-curve 

Alternatively, we use a different curve that restricts the effect of the S-curve 
entirely to midtones: 

o*™*|*» J 

nut [55™ 

In this case, we prefer the latter solution. Overall, the S-curve can be very 
useful in many situations. 

Local Tonality Tuning 

Shadows/Highlight was introduced in 
Photoshop CSi (Photoshop 8). 

We assume that, in most instances, you have done essential global tonality 
tuning before beginning your printing workflow. In fine-tuning your prints, 
it is vital to understand how to perform local tonality corrections that only 
apply to certain parts of the image. Here are some major ways to improve 
local tonality: 

► Adaptive shadow and/or highlight correction* 

► Corrections to selected areas using masks 

► Corrections related to certain tonality ranges (shadows, midtones and 

► Painting techniques (mainly dodge and burn) 

Adaptive Shadow and/or Highlight Correction 

We have described some information about shadows in the section on local 
tonality tuning. In fact, Levels and Curves understand shadows differently 
than we normally do. They consider a shadow as pixels with reduced bright- 
ness. Let's demonstrate what we mean with the following example: 

This picture contains dark letters, but also real shadows that have 
detail within them. From their pixel brightness, the black letters, although 
in the sun, may be as dark or even darker than the real shadows. Both 

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4.2 Tuning Tonality 


Curves and Levels would treat both the same way. That is not really what 
we intend when we plan to open up shadows a bit. 

In situations like this, there exist more useful tools that 
work adaptively; they take into account the context in 
which the pixels reside and not merely a single pixel value 
alone. Currently, the best known tool is Photoshop's 
Shadow/Highlight tool. Below is a demonstration target 
to show the principles of Shadow/Highlight: 

There are five incrementally darker dots that are iden- 
tical in each column. It is well known that we perceive the 
same brightness differently, depending upon its context 
or contrast: 

► Bright spots look brighter in a dark context 

► Dark spots look darker in a bright context 

The above example should illustrate that treating all pixels 
equally, as with Curves and Levels, is not always helpful. 
Why don't we see more of these adaptive tools today? 
Because they: 

► Are computing intensive 

► May have color- shift side effects 

► Sometimes create issues at their edges 
(e.g., show halos, so watch out for them) 

Figure 4~V. Shadows and dark areas 

Shadow Recovery 

When Shadow/Highlight is used to open up shadows, we see the following 

Figure 4-18: Shadow/Highlight test 

I But % p> ^ vm*<m y 

Figure 4-19: Shadow/Highlight used to open up the shadows 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Based on the result in figure 4-19, we observe the following: 

► All spots in the bright area remain unchanged 

► The dark background brightens up 

► The three darker spots on the darker background increases brightness 

Highlight Recovery 

Figure 4-20: 

Shadow/Highlight used to 

tone down highlights 


ps"~ * 



fWIMlfc | Vj < 


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ijcki Emmton: 



BaiCb f 

V Y+F»tfiJ 

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Original ^ after applying Shadow/Highlight 

We observe the following in figure 4-20: 

► All spots in the dark area remain unchanged 

► The bright background darkens 

► The four brighter spots on the brighter background tone down their 

True, you could accomplish the same task with complex masking, but the 
main drawbacks would be: 

► More complicated, involving much more work 

► With real-world images and fine details, masking can become quite 

Corrections to Selected Areas Using Masks 

This book does not cover all possible techniques in using complex masks. 
The fact is, we rarely use them anyway But here is a technique that often 
works well. 

We wish to make the shadows on the dune photo (figure 4-21) a bit brighter. 
It looks satisfactory on the screen, but when printed, we found it a bit too 

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4.2 Tuning Tonality 


Figure 4-21: 
Start photo 

So, we selected the shadow using the 
tool lasso V^ • (Figure 4-22 shows just 
the relevant part of the image.) 

Then we switched over to the 
Quick Mask mode (use the key |~o1 ) 
and could see that mask edges are too 
difficult to make a clean selection (fig- 
ure 4-23). 

We therefore feathered the selec- 
tion (with values between 25-150 
depending on the image and the 
selected area, see figure 4-24). 

Figure 4-24: Selection feathered at 50 

The result is shown in figure 4-25. 

Now, we needed to tune the selec- 
tion a bit at the upper dune shadow 
edge. Finally, we used a Curves adjust- 
ment layer with this selection as a layer 
mask to brighten up the shadow: 

Figure 4-22: 

Select the shadow area with the lasso tool. 

Figure 4-23: 

Same selection shown in Quick Mask mode 

Figure 4-25: 

Selection after applying feathering 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Figure 4-26: 

Using a Curves odjustment 

layer to brighten the 



1 CK 1 


Cre* | 

Ifl** 1 1 

fn- I 1 

*** J 

.'- ^ 

^ ^ ^ 

This technique is useful when the area you work with does not have compli- 
cated edges as its boundaries. 

Corrections Related to Certain Tonality Ranges 
(Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights) 

Often, we use a technique to restrict the effect of Curves and other tuning 
tools to only certain tonal areas: 

► Shadows (e.g., opening up shadows) 

► Midtones (e.g., adding contrast, brightening and darkening) 

► Highlights (e.g., toning down aggressive highlights) 

All our masks are based on a Luminosity mask similar to the black-and- 
white image of the original photo. We may invert this mask and also restrict 
it to certain tonal regions. Because this process can be quite tedious, we 
created our DOP Tonality Tuning Toolkit [29]. Here is an example: 

Figure 4-27: 
Original dune photo 

Downloaded from: 

4.2 Tuning Tonality 


As before, we want to open up the shadows. First we create a shadow tonal- 
ity mask (using our DOP Tonality Toolkit): 

Figure 4-28: 

Use the Tonality Mask automation plug-in to 

create a shadow mask 

We get the following selection: 

Figure 4-29: 
Shadow selection 

Again, we use Curves with the selection applied to a layer mask: 

1 , 




3 r-E- 1 



Figure 4-30: 

Curves applied to selected shadows only 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Here is the Layer Mask that we created: 

Figure 4-31: 
Tonality Mask (shadows normal) 

Figure 4-32: 
Tonality Mask (shadows narrow) 

Just for demonstration, we show the mask that would be created if we had 
chosen the "shadows narrow" option. 


Different from the mask in the last section, we created these tonality masks 
that include all the shadow parts (even the dune ripples). Whether this 
effect is intended by you is based on how you want to present the print. This 
last method exaggerates the soft character of the shapes (reduced contrast), 
while the previous method shows more highlights in graphic patterns of the 
shapes. It is always helpful to have multiple ways to explore the potential of 
your photos for printing. 

It is fairly easy to modify these masks using the following painting 

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4.2 Tuning Tonality 


Painting Techniques (Mainly Dodge and Burn) 

In principle, you can paint all your masks (layer masks) with soft brushes 
(we usually use Hardness set to zero). 

Painting Using Layer Masks 

In this example, in figure 4-33, the eye and part of the head of the Avocet 
chick are in the shadow We would like to brighten them up. 

1. We create a Curves adjustment layer to brighten the whole image (see 
figure 4-34). The resulting image of figure 4-35 is clearly too bright, but 
don't worry. 

Figure 4-33: 
Original image 

Figure 4-34: Curve to brighten 

Figure 4-35: 

The image in figure 4-33, brightened up by 

Curves, is too bright. 

Downloaded from: 


4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

| Normal 


H Opacity: |lOOK \* | 


Lock: .. *f 3 

Figure 4-36: When the layer mask is 

completely black, the adjustment layer has 

no effect. 

Figure 4-38: Layer mask after painting with 
the soft white brush. 

Figure 4-39: 

Optimized image. Here, the head is somewhat 

brightened up. 

Using the paint bucket <**, fill the layer mask with black. Ensure you 
have selected the layer mask when applying the black paint bucket). The 
black layer mask hides all the brightening effect of this layer: 

Figure 4-37: 

The effect of the Curves 
adjustment layer is completely 
masked by the black layer mask. 

3. Using a soft, big brush 

► Color White 

► Opacity 15% 

paint a few strokes over the face. By using 15 % opacity you have a lot of 
control in brightening the face (try even higher opacity to experience 
the difference). 

A look at the Layer Mask by clicking on the layer-mask thumbnail) 
reveals the secret (see figure 4-38): 

This is a universal technique for selective image enhancement and can be 
used with many different types of layers: 

► Layer with a sharpened version of an image 

► Layer with a noise-removed version of an image 

► Hue/Saturation adjustment layers 

► Curves adjustment layer using S-curves 

Downloaded from: 

4.2 Tuning Tonality 


Dodge and Burn Using Layers 

With the same sample image we show a different technique we learned from 
Mac Holbert. Again, the image would be good if those parts of our Avocet 
chick could be lightened up a bit. 

Figure 4-40: 

We want to brighten up the bird's 

1. Create a new layer in the layer palette 

1 New Layer 


Name: | Layer 1 

P Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask 



Color: □ None _J 

Mode: | Overlay ^J^ Opacity: j 100 | ► | % 

■ - .'■■■' 

Figure 4-41: 

Create a new layer with Overlay 
Blending mode 

Set Mode to Overlay and select Fill with Overlay-neutral color (50% 

Overlay is a very special blending mode with the following properties 
(for more details, consult Photoshop Help): 

► 50 % gray leaves the image unchanged (our starting point) 

► values > 50 % gray will darken the image (black being strongest) 

► values < 50 % gray will lighten the image (white being strongest) 

For painting in your grey level, you may use any of the painting tools 
- e.g., a white or black brush (you should usually use a soft brush and a 
low opacity of about 10-15%). We, however, will use the Dodge tool *v 
for lightening and the Burn tool ^ for darkening. 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

■ & Dodge Tool 
^\ Bum Tool 

Figure 4-42: 
Select your dodge options 

3. Select the Dodge Tool (<^). 

4. Set exposure to 5-15 %. Enable the Airbrush option and use a reasonably 
large, soft brush. 

*, 7 





Range: |Midtones ~TJ Exposure: p9% | * | £& 

Figure 4-43: Shows only the Dodge & Burn layer 

Now, when you paint on areas that are too dark for your taste, they will 
brighten the more you paint in that area. The lower the exposure, the 
more you need to paint, giving much greater control. 

5. Dodge the bird's head and body with a few careful 
brush strokes. 

If you make all other layers invisible, you can see 
what your "dodge & burn" layer looks like. 

Dark areas would show portions used to burn (no 
burning here) and the bright ones are those used for 
dodging. The following picture (blending of the 
original picture and the "Dodge & Burn" layer) 
illustrates our point. 

Here is the original image (figure 4-44) and the optimized 
image (figure 4-45). 

As you have seen, most of the time there are several 
ways in Photoshop to achieve a certain optimization. 

Figure 4-44: Original image 

Figure 4-45: Avocet now has a brighter body while the rest of the image 
has kept its tonal values 

Downloaded from: 

4.3 Tuning Colors 


4.3 Tuning Colors 

We assume you have the white balance of your image as you like it. Color 
tuning involves fine tuning of colors and not major color corrections. 

A key issue is to achieve correct saturation. Ensure the contrast is cor- 
rect before even thinking of tuning saturation. Often simply tweaking the 
contrast automatically alleviates any problems with saturation. 

Selective Saturation Improvements 

Sometimes we perceive an impression that a digital photo may need more 
saturation. Actions and filters to do this are quite popular. Let me open with 
some general comments: 

Films like Velvia often produce high saturation of colors in photo- 
graphs, i.e., they appear "larger than life," and thus the image seems to lose 
other subtle, more natural colors. When you place two photos side-by- side, 
differing only in saturation, the one with greater saturation draws your 
attention more. Does that imply it is better? Not necessarily. Again, before 
you even consider enhancing saturation, adjust the contrast. Some S -curves 
might do the trick. 

What about those times when you absolutely must enhance the satura- 
tion of an image? What's the best way to go about it, given the hundreds of 

An excellent tutorial on this subject can be found in an article by Ben 
Willmore in the Photoshop User magazine: "Saturate Your World." It cer- 
tainly has changed our view on saturation. 

As a side remark: whenever you come across 
an article by Ben Willmore, read it. Also his 
excellent book on Photoshop CS3 [15] is now 
part of our library 

Figure 4-46: 

Grand Canyon: Mather Point 

At first, his message sounds pretty obvious: "Use selective saturation in 
Photoshop." Why hadn't we considered this before? It seemed complicated, 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Figure 4-47: Black to white gradient used as a 
layer mask 

and it actually is when you try it on your own without Ben's guidance. But 
he gives a wonderful practical tutorial on how to master the art of selective 

Global saturation enhancement seems an inappropriate method in 
most cases. In the following example, we apply selective saturation 
enhancement only to selected areas of our photos: 

We want to enhance saturation in the top part of this photo, yet keep the 
bottom as is. Create an adjustment layer using Hue/Saturation. Change the 
layer mask in this layer to something resembling figure 4-47. 

The black portion prevents saturation changes at the bottom but allows 
a soft transition to white in the upper areas. 

Then, open the Hue/Saturation dialog, but do not change the "Master" 
settings. We altered the reds using the "Red" settings. 

Figure 4-48: (Left) 
No changes done in "Master" 

Figure 4-49: (Right) 
For our image of figure 4-46 we do our settings 

in "Reds". 

Figure 4-50: 
Image after selective Hue/Saturation corrections 

in "Reds". 

We encourage you to learn for yourself what the different sliders mean, and 
thus do not include all the details from Bens article. 

Here is the result of this operation. We concluded that the change might be 
a bit too strong and considered changing the saturation settings. Instead, we 
modified the opacity of the adjustment layer. 

Downloaded from: 

4.3 Tuning Colors 


Figure 4-52 shows our final version. The differences can be subtle, but this is 
precisely what selective saturation is all about: think selectively! 

|Nornnal H OpaciW: 1 

43^ rn 


...... A 



~\ FlexMa... 


Curves 1 


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f igure 4-51: Differen t tuning layers 

(adjustment layers) of 

the final image 

Figure 4-52: 

Final version of our image 

More Saturation and Contrast Tricks 

As all photographers learn, there is rarely anything better than the "right 

light", In our book, California Earthframes , we made the following choices: * See 


► Midday sunlight creating harsh shadows and burned- out highlights 

► Evening sun with better light but longer shadows 

► Overcast skies providing flat light 

From these three alternatives, we favored "overcast," the lighting from which 
is like a good light box. 

We probably get some flat images directly from the raw con- 
verter. Of course, we could tweak the raw converter (and some- 
times we do that), but usually we prefer to do this work with layers 
in Photoshop. Then we are able to revisit all changes and improve 
on them at a later time. The first step is most often an adjustment 
layer using Levels: 

**H*mW r ~V®~W 

1 a 1 


LH9 | 

5fW. I 

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Figure 4-53: We start with a flat image 

Figure 4-54: 

Levels adjustment layer 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Figure 4 -55: A fter Levels 

Figure 4-57: After Curves 

As you see, we moved the white point only slightly, so the photo 
would not get too bright and retain only truly white details. 

Now, increase the contrast using some S-curve in a Curves 
adjustment layer. 



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Figure 4-56: 

Slight S-curve for a bit more 
contrast, resulting in image in 
figure 4-57 

S-curves tend to create color shifts that can be removed by chang- 
ing the blending mode of the layer to Luminosity. This change is 
subtle, so experiment with it. 

^3 ^^^ Navigator \jnfo T^ Chai 

1 Normal » 1 Opacity: |100« I ► I 

Lock: ' 4* fl Fill: |100« \* I 




t) | ■;: 

Levels 1 


3 & 

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Figure 4-58: 

Our layer palette up to now 

Figure 4-60: After change to luminosity' 

| Luminosity 

Navigator ^Info ^ Cha 
H Opacity: |lOOW |> I 


■ U J 

*■ a 

Fill: [lOOH \> | 




1 * HI 

Levels 1 


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Figure 4-59: 

Changing blending mode to Luminosity 

Some still may want to increase saturation and tweak contrast just 
a bit, so there are several ways to go, in particular a technique 
explained to us by Katrin Eismann, author of "Photoshop Masking 
and Composition" [2]. 

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4.3 Tuning Colors 


Using an Adjustment Layer with "Hard Light" Blending Mode 

Create a new Curves adjustment layer and change the blending mode to 
Hard Light (figure 4-61). 

This effect - as seen in 
figure 4-62) is probably not 
what you want, but don't 

The right selection of 
layer opacity allows us to 
tone down the effect to a 
more pleasing level. 

|Hardl_iaht jtJ Opacity: |27M |>| 

Lock: [ 4* A Fill: |lOOK |> | 



1 ® II 

Curves 1 


1 *> II 

Levels 1 


1 ffj'sfiyrvi/n'f Q | 

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Figure 4-62: Additional Curves adjustmen t layer using 
"Hard Light" blending mode 

Figure 4-63: 
Changing the Opacity 

A problem can occur in using this technique: shadows might 
become too dense. Since we use a Curves adjustment layer, we 
could use curves to control the impact on the shadows, but there is 
a more elegant solution. Open the layers blending options and 
move the left slider for the Underlying Layer to the right. Below 46, 
values are no longer affected. 

I^WmiM^ Opacity: |100K |> | 


*f a Fill: |100K | ► | 

I ' Bl |^ 


1 e \%\ | Curves 1 


| €> \\ | Levels1 


ffj^&yrvuntf Q 

-*» @. O €>. -J 51 8Li 

Figure 4-61: Image with wo % "Hard Light" 

Figure 4-64: Opacity of "Hard Ligh t" layer reduced to 27 9 

— Blending Options 
General Blending 

Blend Mode: | Har d Light T] 

na « 

— Advanced Bleu 

Fill Opacity 


|7r |7g |7b 


I None J^J 

f™ Blend Interior Effects as Group 
\*7 Blend Clipped Layers as Group 
\*7 Transparency Shapes Layer 
| Layer Mask Hides Effects 
J - Vector Mask Hides Effects 

- Blend IF: | Gray 



This Layer: 




Underlying Layer: 









New Style.,, | 
W Preview 

Figure 4-65: 

Setting the "Blending Options" 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

i"* "CSS 








j»rfW#i 3 

I* * 


F/gi/re 4-66: Split sliders 

This is still not what we want, as the transi- 
tion would become visible. If you look care- 
fully, notice that the tiny triangle sliders are 
split. You can separate them by using the [Ait] 
key and moving the right portion of the tri- 
angle to the right (figure 4-66). Voila: 

Now, all shadows below 52 are pro- 
tected from our "Hard Light" layer, and 
there is a smooth transition zone up to 85. 
Finally, the layer effect is fully visible above 

Figure 4-67: Here, shadows below 52 are protected 
from the 'Hard Light' correction 

Variation with "Soft Light" 

You can do the same thing using the Soft Light blending mode. This time, 
the effect is less dramatic. 

Be careful or your photos will become too dramatic and punchy. Also, 
photos directly contrasted using strong saturation appear even flatter than 
they really are. This is one reason naturally saturated photos are perceived 
as flat. We are bombarded with too many overly saturated photos today, 
and sometimes call it the "heavy metal of photography." 

Figure 4-68: Soft Light at 100% opacity 

Figure 4-69: Soft Light at 27% opacity 

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4.3 Tuning Colors 


Removing Blue Shadow Casts 

We revisit our dune photo again. 

Figure 4-70: 
Initial dune image 

This time we look for a blue cast in the shadows. Be 
aware that this scene was actually illuminated by 
two light sources: 

► Sun or sun-in-overcast 

► Sky in the shades 

The light actually has two different color tempera- 
tures. In this situation, the global white balance 
should be selected to correct for the main light 
source, in this case, the sun. 

In shadows, we detect quite a bit of blue shadow 
cast, which is often not too easy to see on a monitor. 
We don't like an extreme blue cast in our prints and 
usually try to tone it down. The techniques here are 
shown at a 100% magnification crop (all screen 

We added a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to pump up the blue, and 
to intensify the cast (see figure 4-73 at page 118). 

Pushing up saturation temporarily is a very general technique when 
doing color corrections. This will show up the colors in your image and 
where they are. First do this in Hue/Saturation dialog selecting Master in 
the Edit pull-down menu. You may be surprised what colors your image 
will show. Having seen them, set saturation back to normal and go to the 
color tint you want to correct and there fine tune - using your 
sliders - the colors you want to correct. In our example this is Blue. 

Figure 4-71: Crop of the original photo 


1-5— i 

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tts*/s»* asanas* f > * 

Figure 4-72: Adjustment layer to increase the 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Figure 4~73~. Visualize the blue cost 

Figure 4-75: Blue, toned down 

Figure 4-76: Reduced blue with mask 

As stated, the blue cast looks much too strong, but it 
gives an idea where blue cast resides. As shown in our 
workflow book [12], we use selective Hue/Saturation to 
tone down this cast. We keep the test Hue/Saturation 
layer on top, just to show the effect: 

Figure 4-74: 
Selective reduction 
of the blue cast 

A nice side effect is that shadows get a bit brighter when 
we tone down the blue. It is possible that this strong 
removal might be too much, and we may want to limit 
the blue reduction to shadows. This is why we used our 
Tonality Tuning Toolkit [15] and created a mask to limit 
the Hue/Saturation layer only on the shadow portion of 
the image: 

Note: We often use the same shadow mask to limit the 
effect of a noise-removal layer to the shadow part of the 
image. These shadows sometimes contain a lot of noise. 

Remember, our Hue/Saturation test layer still strongly 
amplifies the blue. Figure 4-78 at page 119 shows the 
final version, after disabling the Hue/Saturation test 

Keep in mind that sometimes the difference is not 
as impressive on screen as it can be in a print, so you 
also must test these effects by actually printing some 
test prints and studying them under optimum lighting. 

Of course, you must be careful if other blue areas 
reside in your image (e.g., sky). In that case, you should 
use masking techniques to protect those areas. 

If you want to create a luminosity mask using the stan- 
dard selection mechanism (instead of using our Tonality 
Tuning Toolkit), choose Select ►Color Range and 
Sampled Colors in the Select drop-down menu. Control 
the width of your Luminosity using the Fuzziness slider. 
You can then invert the mask it necessary (R>]- [ctrll -[T], 
Mac: ©-(§)- DO). 

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4.4 "Ring ArouncTand Variations 


Figure 4-77: 

Initial version of the image. 

Figure 4-78: 

Final version of the image 

4.4 "Ring Around" and Variations 

This chapter covers material strongly influenced by our friend Brad 

Finally, only an actual print can show how a print will look in its final 
form. Soft-proofing is just one way to get as close in quality to the final 
print as possible. Here, we want to cover two important techniques in fine- 
tuning your prints: 

► Ring Around 

► Variations (on screen and in print) 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Both techniques are based on seeing the same image (or partial image) in 
variations of the original to verify you get the interpretation of the image 
you prefer. 

This text is from Brad Hinkel Ring Around 

Printing a "ring around" is a traditional technique for evaluating images in 
the wet color darkroom. We all did it for a basic color printing class. I found 
the process useful, but far too tedious to repeat for any image other than 
that particular assignment. 

Figure 4-79: 
"Ring Around" scheme 

In the digital darkroom, this procedure is still effective, but much easier. The 
"ring around" is designed to help evaluate if an image has the appropriate 
color balance and/or density. It can potentially be used for a wide range of 
options, i.e., anything that can be placed on an adjustment layer. We will be 

Downloaded from: 

4.4 "Ring ArouncTand Variations 


investigating more options in the future. The basic "ring around" shows 
some variations of an image for +R, +G, +B, -R, -G, -B, darker and lighter. 

Use a "ring around" when you have an image: 

► that you feel looks great - but just to test the final evaluation 

► that you just cant seem to color-balance well 

It is important to remember that our eyes/brains will sometimes compensate 
for color balance issues in an image, to make it appear better than it really 
is. So, take time away from an image, say, a couple of minutes, and return to 
it to evaluate its color. A "ring around" forces a better evaluation of color. 

We automated the whole process. The action provided helps to create 
a "ring around" quite easily. (You may download it from Uwe's Web site 


1. We create a folder (PC: "C:\tmp\ring_around"). 

2. Empty the folder. 

3. Run the action. 

4. Browse to the folder in Bridge or the Photoshop file browser. 

5. Run theContact Sheet II tool from Bridge or Photoshop 
(figure 4-80 and 4-81). 

* Sorry, this action is for Windows only, as 
we need to write to disk, but the action is a 
blueprint for your own actions on a Mac. 

n n 

r iJWAuto&av 

Rn |m*i **; i zi 

(#mv. f* 

•mm* |B"i 

■wBp - 

Hrart* [** 


B utoRbia 



■J tauter |*0< •[ 

File Edit 

Tools Label View Window Help 

4 . 

Batch Rename. . . Ctrl+5hft+R 



Version Cue ► 


Photoshop Services ► 

Tranberry-Willmore Tools 0.5 BETA ► 



Illustrator ► 

InDesign ► 

Image Processor... 

Export Metadata... 

Merge to HDR... 
PDF Presentation... 

Figure 4-80: Calling Contact Sheet II from Bridge 

Figure 4-81: 

Contact Sheet II dialog 

6. Select a 3 x 3 matrix. 

7. Enable a filename as a caption. 

8. Click OK. 

9. Photoshop will create a one-page proof sheet. You can find and download our free 

10. Print the contact sheet using the appropriate profile (suiting printer, Photoshop action for "Ring Around" 'at [31]. 
inks, paper, and printer driver settings). 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

Using Variations 

Fine-tuning an image takes at least as much effort as getting the image in the 
first place. Here is a technique to help you visually optimize pictures. These 
routines look simple, yet they really help for that which they are designed: 
fine tuning. 

We have implemented this technique in a "DOP Variations" plug-in, and 
you can do the same steps by hand. 

Comparison is a powerful tool in optimizing color, brightness, contrast, 
saturation, and more. There is a nice tool in Photoshop called Variations 
(Image ► Adjustments ► Variations) that guides you through a sequence of 
image variations (figure 4-82). 

Figure 4-82: 
Photoshop Variations 

It is a nice tool, but has some shortcomings when seriously fine tuning: 

► Images are much too small 

► It works only on 8 bit color (even with CS3) 

► Once confirmed, a change is "cast in stone" and cannot be edited; it 
would be nice to make it an adjustment layer. 

► Not easy to customize 

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4.4 "Ring ArouncTand Variations 


When our friend Brad Hinkel introduced us to "Ring Around," it stimulated 
us to design a better way to use variations. Our goals were: 

► Use the full Photoshop image to compare 

► Have different comparison patterns 

► Correct in iterations 

► Leave all corrections in adjustment layers (let nothing be "cast in 

► Preview before and after at any time 

► Easy to customize 

► Not waste too much disk space 

DOP Variations 

Though this is our own tool, feel free to create your own variations 
workflow using Photoshop actions. You will find our tool here: [30]. 

As with many good ideas, it is really very simple. The plug-in 
creates adjustment layers with layer masks that are used to compare 
before/after scenarios. Here are the masks you can select: 

Figure 4-83: Starting image 



Figure 4-84: Masks that you may use with our Variations plug-in 

The two masks to the right will be used for the "left/right quarter" option, 
and provide an alternative method of comparing. We use this same image 
also in our full variations workflow. 

Let us assume that you use mask #1 
("Diagonal Split"). Then, the action 
"DOP Variations Layers" will cre- 
ate a layer group (or layer set) with 
layer masks that use mask #1. It 
would look like figure 4-86 and 
result in an image displayed like 
that in figure 4-87. 



mal ^J Opacity: | 100% | ► | 

Lock: Q j# ■<& § Fill: | 100% | ► | 



w Background 

Figure 4-85: Differen t comparison 

masks (only available in the Windows 

version of the plug-in) 

Figure 4-86: Layers palette showing the 
Curves adjustment layer with its layer mask 

Figure 4-87: Image with split layer mask #1 

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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

| Normal T[ Opacity: | 100% | * \ 

Lock: n j -f a 



less midtone contrast 


S ffl H< 

|® T I DOP_Variations_Group 





more midtone contrast 





green plus 



red plus 


=3* a 

blue plus 


Figure 4-88: Layers 

The goal of the mask is to provide an aid to see the difference between 
"before" and "after." The adjustment layer is easily tuned using opacity to 
reduce the brightening effect. Its full benefit is seen in our next example. 
Here, we provide information on how these variations work, at least in prin- 

The full optimization workflow: 

Again, we start with an original file. This time we use the supplied action 
called "DOP Variations Layers 1 and use option 1. This creates the layer struc- 
ture of figure 4-88. 

The plug-in, together with the actions, creates a layer group (before 
CS2, called layer set) with all layers disabled. We get 14 adjustment layers: 

► Blue plus/minus color balance (+30/-30 at 50 % opacity) 

► Red plus/minus color balance (+30/-30 at 50 % opacity) 

► Green plus/minus color balance (+30/-30 at 50 % opacity) 

► Darker/brighter levels (0.8/1.2 midpoint at 72 % opacity) 

► More/less midtone contrast S-curves (at 80 % opacity) 

► More/less saturation (+20/-20 at 75 % opacity) 

► Warmer/cooler (Photo Filters at 50 % opacity) 

The task is now to inspect each pair of corrections and decide whether a 
picture benefits from one of the corrections. 

Sample #1 Darker 

We enable the "darker" layer and see the image of figure 4-89. We can now 
tune the opacity of this layer to darken it as much as we like (here, less is 
probably more). When we are happy with the result, we disable the layer 






Disable Layer Mask 



Delete Layer Mask 
Apply Layer Mask 

Add Layer Mask To Selection 
Subtract Layer Mask From Selection 
Intersect Layer Mask With Selection 

Layer Mask Options... 

Figure 4-89: image when layer "darker" is enabled. 

Figure 4-90: 

Use "Disable Layer Mask" to 
remove the partial disabling 
of the layer effect. 

You will get the layer structure of figure 4-91. Now "darken" with 
opacity 25% is applied to the full image. Also we can check the global 
effect at any time by enabling/disabling the complete layer group. 

Downloaded from: 

4.5 Local Contrast Enhancement 


As we perform these tests for each of the layers, in many cases we see right 
away that this sort of correction may not make sense. 

Don't these many adjustment layers blow up a file size? We tested it on 
a full Canon iDs Mk. II file (14.7 Megapixel RAW image): 


5ize * 


I Date Modified 

IE) 1 ds2_0000_236 1 _no_layers . tif 

35,314 KB 

TIF File 

11/2/2005 7:06 PM 

S) 1 ds2_0000_236 1 _one_ad justmentjay er . tif 

31,230 KB 

TIF File 

11/2/2005 7:13 PM 

^ 1 ds2_0000_236 1 _with_layers2 . tif 

83,384 KB 

TIF File 

11/2/2005 7:11PM 

§j 1 ds2_0000_236 1 _with_lay ers . tif 

35,703 KB 

TIF File 

11/2/2005 7:03 PM 

■fc 1 ds2_0000_236 1 _one_lay ers . tif 

127,414 KB 

TIF File 

11/2/2005 7:12 PM 

► Image without any layers: 36 MB 

► Image with a single adjustment layer: 81 MB 

► Image with the full layer group: 85 MB 

This means the overhead is significant compared to not using layers at all. 
But because layers are the way to go for fine-tuning anyway, our base size is 
at 81 MB. In this case, we have about 4-5 MB overhead and this means no 
more than 5% more than the minimal size for just one adjustment layer. 

All this fine-tuning will take some time and is only worth it for prints you 
really care for - but that's all this book is about. 

4.5 Local Contrast Enhancement 

Local contrast enhancement is one of the newer functions of image editing. 
What we are talking about here is the enhancing of the local contrast in your 
whole image - though it may also be restricted to certain areas by using 
layer masks or similar methods. This technique allows you to enhance the 
contrast between neighboring pixels that have slightly different colors or 
tonal values. A very old technique for this is to use sharpening (e.g., the 
Photoshop USM filter), applying a large Radius but a low Amount. If you 
have fine structures in your image - e.g., small leaves or fine color variations 
in a stone surface -, this will bring some pep to your image. 

There are also a number of optional Photoshop filters (plug-ins) that 
can do this even better. One of them is Akvis Enhancer [35] which does a 
very fine job. We used this quite a bit in the past. It allows you to separately 
set the preferred level of local contrast enhancement for highlights and 
shadows, and it allows you to brighten up your shadows - in much the 
same way as Photoshop Shadow/Highlight filter does it. 

Before we use this filter, we first duplicate the previous layer or create 
a new composite layer using ffl - [Ctrl [ - [Ait] -[T] (Mac: 0-(S)-@-[e]). Like 
almost all filters, Akvis Enhancer can only work on a pixel layer. (Although 
earlier versions of Akvis Enhancer did not work as a Smart Filter in Photo- 
shop CS3 or CS4, newer versions of Enhancer do - at least since version 9.5). 

Layers ™ 
J Normal ^1 Opacity; [25% | » | 

Lock: LJ J $ I 

Fill: [j 







on minus 


saturation plus 


less midtone contrast 

more midtone contrast 




green plus 



red plus 



blue plus 


Figure 4-91: Final layer structure after our 
optimization using the "Variation plug-in". 
If you keep all disabled layers, you may 
activate them later for further tuning. 

Downloaded from: 


4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 


o • ^ * * <» 




« j 


I I, 


» : 




*- L ■ 



We recommend starting with low (standard) values for Shadows, 
Highlights, and Level of Detail (see figure 4-92). We also found that you 
should reduce Lightness a bit (as compared to the default setting). 

This filter is very resource-consuming concerning computing power as 
well as memory. To generate a preview, set your controls and click the 
icon. The progress bar will show how far down the line the calculation 
currently is. With the standard settings, Akvis Enhancer will lighten up 
your shadows a bit. Watch for any noise that might appear with this. 

If you like the result, click O. This produces the actual enhancement. 
If it's too much, you have to restart the whole process, or you can simply 
reduce the opacity of this filter layer (one reason we always use a separate 

As with most modern plug-ins, you can save your current settings as a 
new preset with this filter. This is quite convenient as you will probably find 
your own style for certain types of images and in this way you can recall 
your presets without much fiddling with the sliders. 

Another filter we regularly used (until Uwe created his own filter), is 
Photomatrix ToneMapping [56]. Sometimes we even combined these two 
filters (apply first ToneMapping and then Enhancer). 

4 Figure 4-92: Dialog of the Akvis Enhancer filter with the navigator at the top. 

•" 3 

. * T 





I-tf- m 





■ ■ 


1 N 

! a 

1 r 

1 ■• 


%*? <■ ■■■$ 

f/gi/re 4-93.' Original Image 

F/gi/re 4-94.' Door after applying the Akvis Enhancer Filter 

Downloaded from: 

4.5 Local Contrast Enhancement 


Uwe also created his own plug- in script for local contrast enhancement. It's 
called DOP Detail Extractor and is available at [33]. It offers three different 
methods for contrast enhancements. For the image demonstrated in figure 
4-95, we used method Extract 1 (see figure 4-97). 

Figure 4-95: Original image - a bit of bang is missing. 

Figure 4-96: Image after applying the Detail Extractor script. 

Here, you don't have to create a layer, as this script will do it for you. To 
preserve the fuzziness of the background, I used a roughly painted layer 
mask, shown in figure 4-98. 



IB-LH4, -4& 

PrMKJ t4-]QI0l 




QExuitil C imrifl J QtHial 

Figure 4-97: Detail Extractor settings for figure 4-96 

Figure 4-98: Layer mask to preserve the fuzziness of the background 

I also like that the DOP Detail Extractor script will include the slider set- 
tings in the layer name (see figure 4-99). 

Whether you use the USM method, the Akvis Enhancer, or Uwe's plug-in, 
in all cases the image will need less final sharpening for printing, as all these 
methods do a bit of sharpening. With all three methods, the effect can be 
restricted to certain image areas by using a layer mask. We usually use layer 
mask to preserve smooth gradients, e.g., in the sky, for skin in portraits or 
for burry areas where we don't want to enhance details. 

w* Jj+ft '■ tt™. * 



Figure 4-99: The layer created by Detail 

Extractor is named with the values used in the 


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4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

$ A it = 

b Hi,:*,*; 



White Balance: 

' As Shot 




+ 16 










Figure 4-100: Fhe Clarity control of Adobe 

Camera Raw 4.x allows you to enhance the 

local contrast in your image. 

When you are shooting in RAW and you are doing your RAW conversion in 
Photoshop CS3 using Adobe Camera Raw 4.x (or if you are doing your RAW 
editing using Adobe Lightroom), there is already a basic function for local 
contrast enhancement. Use the Clarity control for this. With Lightroom, 
Clarity is part of the Basic tuning block; with Camera Raw, you will find this 
slider in the Basic tab (see figure 4-100). Most images will benefit from a 
moderate non-zero value in this slider. If, however, you intend to use an 
enhancement filter as described above, use only very little or no Clarity in 
order to avoid halos. 

As local contrast enhancement, like sharpening, will also enhance 
noise in your image, you have to reduce noise before doing this enhance- 
ment. This is why we placed this step at the end of our image optimization. 
You might also have to restrict your local contrast enhancement to certain 
areas by using a layer mask (or a similar technique) in order to avoid ampli- 
fying noise or producing halos. 

When we do a black-and-white conversion, as described in section 7.2, 
we usually do some minor local contrast enhancement before we perform 
our black-and-white conversion and, optionally, some additional detail 
extraction after the conversion. 

All the methods described above - though focussed on local contrast 
enhancement - will result in some sharpening. Therefore, you should use 
no or very little sharpening before this step. However, these methods don't 
completely replace sharpening; therefore, you will have to apply some 
additional sharpening afterwards, but to a much lesser extent than without 
such an enhancement step. 

4.6 Further Preparations for Printing 

-> Your image may lose some visual contrast 

on screen when you reduce your tonal values. 

But don't worry it won't reduce the quality 

of your print but will result in more details in 

shadow and highlight areas! 

Before you resize and sharpen your image, (which you should do on a copy 
of your image), you might consider flattening your various layers down to 
one layer. We recommend you save your layered image first (as a new master 
image) make a copy of it and only flatten your layers in that new copy. This 
is the copy you should do your resizing and sharpening on. Give your vari- 
ous copies consistent file names linking the different versions of your photo 
together by their file names. According to our experience, you will often 
want to go back to a previous version (e.g., the version with the correction 
layers still intact) and do some more fine-tuning there or use it as the base 
for a print on another output device or for another print size. 

The final step in print preparation should be restricting the tonal val- 
ues of your image to those the printer can reproduce. How this is done is 
described in section 3.10, page 79. You may perform this operation either 
before or after scaling (sizing) your image copy. 

If you do some print or printer-specific tuning, do not apply this to 
your general image. Instead stay in the same image file, create a new layer 

Downloaded from: 

4.7 Resizing 129 

group in Photoshop,* and put all your printer- specific tuning into this group. * Use Layer ► New ► Group: 
This allows you to switch these modification on and off by enabling or 
disabling the layer group, and even permits you to have several separate 
layer groups for different printing situations. Once you have achieved a spe- 
cific optimization for a specific print situation using this layer technique, you 
may even copy the optimization adjustment layers to another similar image. 
When working in Lightroom and doing some printer-specific optimi- 
zation, we first create a virtual copy and do the specific optimization in this 
virtual copy. 

4.7 Resizing 

As in Sharpening, Resizing is a complex topic. For printing, we mainly deal 
with increasing the size of an image only after the print sizes becomes larger. 
There are two main reasons to increase the size: 

► Bring the ppi (pixel per inch) up to a value that is optimal for your 
printer. Most printers work fine with the original ppi between 240 to 
360 ppi. Some even use 180 ppi and leave the further "up-sizing" to the 
printer driver. 

► Make significantly larger prints than the original image size and ppi 
would normally allow. We rarely try this, as it always means extrapola- 
tion of many new pixels. Admittedly, good up-sizing algorithms can 
create wonderful illusions. 

When you perform major up -sizing, you normally need to add final sharp- 

In chapter 6, " Printing Packages and RIPs", we feature Qimage, (see section 
6.2) because it does all these things: 

► Use first-class up -sizing algorithms 

► Up -sizes to a printer's native resolution (Epson 360 ppi or 720 ppi, and 
HP 600 ppi and Canon 300 ppi) 

► Applies some mild amount of final sharpening that often results in some 
nice local contrast enhancement. 

If you really must up -size your image first, which you should do if you want 
to print a larger image using Photoshop and the standard printer driver, we 
recommend the following up-sizing tools: 

► Photoshop Bicubic Smoother: does a nice job for moderate up-sizing 

► DOP Up-sizing [44]: Our free automation plug-in that implements a 
strategy by our friend Jack Flesher. 

► Genuine Fractals [58]: the classic up-sizing tool, but slightly expensive. 

Downloaded from: 


4 Fine Art Printing Workflow 

* When using "Bicubic Sharper" for 

downsizing on image, you may use less 

sharpening as the image already underwent 

some sharpening by the scaling process. 

Note: If you have to resize an 

image, never do it to your 

master image but only to a new 

copy of the image file! 

For down-sizing, Photoshop's Bicubic Sharper will do the job in most cases/ 

If you have to up-size more than 50-80%, you may consider using one of 
those numerous up-sizing Photoshop plug-ins like Genuine Fractals [58] (as 
mentioned), plx SmartScale [58] or Sizefixer [49]. But most of these plug-ins 
are costly and are only worth their money if you do a lot of up-sizing and scale 
up considerably 

When you are shooting RAW and intend to print large, you may prefer 
to do your up -sizing in the RAW converter. In most cases, the results are 
slightly better than scaling in Photoshop. 

4.8 Sharpening 

Please consult our e-books DOP2000 [12] and 
DOP3002 [13] for more on sharpening. 

All images produced by a digital camera need some sharpening, as some 
softness is introduced internally by the anti-aliasing filter of the digital cam- 
era (in front of the sensor). Some additional softness is introduced by the 
demosaicing filter. With digital scans, some softness is produced in the 
digitizing process. 

Sharpening usually should be performed as the last optimization step. 
After removing noise, sharpening may make noise more visible. There 
actually are three types of sharpening you should apply to an image: 

A. Compensate for the slight fuzziness that is caused by the color inter- 
polation (demosaicing process). If you are shooting RAW, you should 
do some sharpening in your RAW converter. If, however, we do explicit 
sharpening in Photoshop or some other image editor like LightZone, 
we omit this step or do it only very slightly. 

B. Some general sharpening to improve an image, independent of the 
output method. This is also called creative sharpening. Usually, you will 
restrict this sharpening to certain areas of the image - e.g., the eye in a 
portrait- and preserve other areas. 

C. Output-specific sharpening. If the output method produces additional 
softness, e.g., due to dithering as used for offset or inkjet printing, you 
would apply more sharpening to compensate for this. If your output 
method does no dithering, e.g., say for presentation on monitors, or 
when using dithering-free printing such as Lightjet printing (direct 
photo printing) or output on a dye- sublimation printer, no additional 
or only slight sharpening after step B is required. 

Sharpening of kind C should be done after final scaling for output, as sharp- 
ness is influenced by increasing or decreasing the size of an image. Ideally, 
scaling and sharpening may be left to the printing process (e.g., RIP), if this 
process offers such a feature. 

With some printing packages or RIPs, you may leave sizing and sharp- 
ening to those packages (e.g., Qimage, ImagePrint, and Adobe Lightroom). 

Downloaded from: 

4.8 Sharpening 


Uwe's personal note on sharpening: 

I try to sharpen an image at the cameras resolution so that I can see as 
few artifacts as possible (at 100% magnification), but still keep the 
image in focus. Later on, I try to avoid too much up-sizing (see next sec- 
tion) and do hardly any extra print sharpening. This ensures a natural 
sharpness for the print. Too much sharpening always makes prints 
look so digital or less smooth. Even though I use my own sharpening tool, 
EasyS Plus Sharpening Toolkit/ there are many other valid sharpening 
strategies that will suit your needs. 

For EasyS Plus Sharpening Toolkit, see [32]. 

We do our sharpening using a separate pixel layer. For this we reduce all 
visible layers down to a new layer (ffl-[ctrl]-[Ait]-|Tl, Mac: 0-[§]-(5)-[I]).* 

For sharpening, when not using our own EasyS Plus [32] , we use the 
Photoshop Unsharp Mask filter (USM, Filter ►Sharpen ► Unsharp Mask), set- 
ting the Radius to 0.8-1.0 and the Amount to 120-180 (see figure 4-101). 

Since Photoshop CS2, we use Filter ►Sharpen ►Smart Sharpen (see fig- 
ure 4-102). With this filter, in most cases, we use less sharpening in the 
shadow as there is more noise there and we don't want to increase it by the 
sharpening. Additionally, we use a layer mask with the Unsharpen Mask 
and Smart Sharpen filter to preserve critical areas like clouds in the sky, 
skin in portraits, or smooth transitions (increasing Threshold in the 
Unsharpen Mask filter will also help here.) With both of these filters, you 
may use a somewhat stronger sharpening and control the effect by reduc- 
ing the opacity of the layer. 



«UftlL.p[£ fMfc 

J n» J 

With the techniques demonstrated in this chapter, your image should be 
fine-tuned. Now, you are actually ready to print, and we will show you how 
in the next chapter. 

* With Photoshop 7 and Photoshop CSi 
you have to use two steps: first create a new 
empty layer (\<t\- \ctfl\ -[W\) and then do the 
flattening ([^\-\ctr\\-[m\-\T]). 


1 1 

crai 1 

1* «¥*^* 

TWIG* [T" Mb 

Figure 4-101: Unsharp Mask filter in 

Figure 4-102: 

Smart Sharpen, available since 

Photoshop CS2. 

Downloaded from: 


Downloaded from: 

Fine Art Printers in 
Practical Use 

When everything works correctly, printing with todays fine art 
printers can be a pleasure. Unfortunately, many things can go 
wrong and spoil the fun, which implies that you need to know 
when to use or not use certain features of your printer and the 
various set-ups for proper color management. Knowing the basics 
gives you the freedom to experiment. 

In this chapter we will give a general overview on how to do 
your printer setup, your print settings in your application 
(Photoshop and Lightroom), and in the printer driver. We will 
show this with an Epson printer with Mac OS X and with 
Windows. While the basic scheme is the same for most fine art 
printers, some details will change from manufacturer to manufac- 
turer, from printer model to model, and it may even change from 
driver version to driver version. 

We off-loaded details on the various fine art printers from 
Epson, Hewlett Packard, and Canon to appendix A. Updates on 
new printers and new experience that we encountered using exist- 
ing printers and drivers will be published at Uwes Internet site at Therefore, you should pay a visit to Uwes 
site from time to time. 

Downloaded from: 


5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

-> With some HP printers we encountered 

problems when connecting them to the PC 

via a USB hub. 

* These are hubs without their own power 


■4 Do not connect a printer to your 

computer until you are prompted to do so by 

the printer's manual. 

5.1 Printer Installation 

The physical installation of a printer is similar, whether connecting to a Mac 
or PC. Unfortunately, the software is usually quite different. Typically, we 
install a new printer in about 15-30 minutes. With some large-format print- 
ers, the ink charging time may take longer. In most cases, printer installa- 
tion is a very smooth process (HP, Canon, and Epson). 

Connection Types 

USB/USB 2.0: Currently, USB is the most common type of connection 
offered by all new printers, although there is usually no cable supplied in the 
box. A connecting cable can extend from about six to 20 feet. Avoid cables 
that are too long. Additionally, you can connect most USB printers via a USB 
hub that has its own power supply. Often, passive" USB hubs do not allow 
adequate power to reach the various devices connected to it. USB hubs may, 
in some cases, cause problems with certain printers e.g., HP DesignJet print- 
ers, as we will discuss later. USB 2.0 ensures a better throughput, and is also 
the current standard for the newest printers. Sadly, the speed of most print- 
ers is not high enough to even challenge the USB 1.0 connection. 

Firewire (IEEE-1394): Firewire is less common and Firewire IEEE-i394a 
not significantly faster than USB 2.0. Firewire, however, allows slightly lon- 
ger cables than does USB. 

Ethernet (LAN): Ethernet allows the longest cables, 50 feet or longer. Most 
large format printers like the HP Z3100, the Epson Pro 7880 or the Canon 
iPF6ioo come with USB and Ethernet, or you may add an Ethernet network 
card, as is true with some Epson large-format printers. This throughput is 
adequate most of the time, and using Ethernet allows you to easily share 
printers among multiple computers. On the other hand, networking can be 
challenging. If you don't like dealing with a network, we suggest using one 
of the other kinds of connections. With large format printers and prints, it 
is desirable to use high-speed LAN. For this reason the 64-inch Epson Pro 
11880 offers LAN speed up to loooBase-TX. 

Parallel: This classical type of PC computer-to-printer connection has been 
largely replaced by USB. We would not recommend using parallel with todays 
printers because their short/thick cables potentially cause more problems. 
This port is also quite slow compared to USB 2.0, Firewire, or 100Base LAN. 


During physical set-up, follow the manufacturer's set-up instructions word- 
for-word. Place the printer at a location where you can handle all paper 
input/output easily, provide adequate space for cooling (most inkjet printers 
don't generate excessive heat), and allow for proper ventilation of various 
ink, paper and other printer chemicals that discharge during printing. 

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5.1 Printer Installation 


Installing the Print Heads 

Some printers (HP and Canon) have removable heads, while others (Epson) 
have fixed ones. Both are related to the inkjet technology used; there are 
pros and cons for both technologies. Overall, this aspect should not affect 
your choice of a printer, other than that you must take into account the cost 
of new heads in your cost analysis. If you need to install heads (HP and 
Canon), follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. 

Installing the Ink Cartridges 

Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Never touch the electronic 
contacts. If you do, clean them with a lint-free cloth and isopropyl alcohol, 
as the perspiration on your fingers can cause the contacts to corrode. 

-> If you install cartridges with pigment inks, 
carefully shake them before installing to stir 
up the pigments. 

Calibration and Printer Tests 

Some recent printers ask you to insert plain paper to perform an automatic 
head alignment or color calibration (usually, it is not really a color calibra- 
tion, but a density calibration for the individual inks). Both steps may be 
repeated later, but it is best to do the printer set-up as early as possible. 
Normally, the final test sheet indicates that the printer passed all its tests. 

Installing the Drivers and other Software 

Note: Do not connect the printer to your computer before the manu- 
facturer's manual or the installation software prompts you to do so 
(usually, after a printer driver is installed). 

All the printers we cover in this book are shipped with software installation 
programs to safely guide you through the entire driver- installation process, 
step-by-step. Follow the instructions carefully and take your time. Some prin- 
ters come with software other than that of the driver itself. We rarely install 
this extra software, as we are familiar with our printing software (Photoshop, 
Qimage, ImagePrint, or Lightroom), and none of the software packages we 
recommend needs more than the printer manufacturer's drivers. 

Once you have installed the drivers, it is time for a test print. This is merely 
a print confirming that the connection and the drivers work correctly. This 
does not test the print quality and colors you want. We will check that later. 

Installing Printer Profiles 

Many modern printers come with generic profiles for the printer. Sometimes 
these may require an additional installation step. In most cases, these pro- 
files are installed with the printer drivers. Without them, you will have a 
difficult time getting good prints. 

^ It may be well worth it to look for 
updated, improved or additional ICC 
profiles on the Internet site of the printer's 

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5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

5.2 Printer Adjustments 

Though most printers are ready to go after the installation process, some 
require a fine-tuning for their behavior. 

Head Alignment 

Head alignment is crucial for optimum print results without banding. 
Fortunately, many new printers now use sensors inside the printer to per- 
form this alignment automatically. Check the user manual to perform head 
alignment, if necessary. 

-> You should use your Inkjet printer regularly 

- once a week should be a good time frame. 

This will prevent the nozzles of the print heads 

from clogging. It may be sufficient just to 

switch it on and off after a few minutes. 

Nozzle Check 

Especially when not using your printer every day, some nozzles may become 
clogged. The Nozzle Check prints a test pattern to show you whether any 
nozzles are clogged or not. If possible, you should use your printer at least 
once a week. 

Clean nozzles are an important issue for high quality prints. For this 
reason we run a nozzle check every time before we start printing when the 
printer was not used for some time. Professional services do this every 

Figure 5-7: 
Nozzle check pattern showing some clogged 
nozzles with the black and blue ink 

* Actually this is a density calibration and 

not real color calibration but will improve 

color accuracy. 

Head Cleaning 

If some nozzles are clogged, you must perform one or more head-cleaning 
cycles. Unfortunately, this procedure uses up some ink that adds to overall 
ink cost. 

Color Calibration 

Some printers perform a color calibration on the printer, e.g., HP DesignJet 
30/90/130. This has the advantage that a printer can more easily be used with 
generic profiles, as the printer is set to a defined state. Color calibration is 
best performed after changing heads or inks/ 

With its new, large-format printers, Epson (4800, 7800, 9800) has tried 
to avoid this step by using the following measures: 

► Very low production variations between printers of the same model 

► Fixed heads 

► Factory printer linearization 

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5.3 General DriverTasks and Settings 


5.3 General Driver Tasks and Settings 

Printer drivers seem to be simple tools, yet there are many aspects that influ- 
ence image quality not to mention comfort of the user. Here, image quality 
should clearly be a high priority 

Settings that Influence Print Quality 

Note: All these parameters may influence your choice of profiles. 
Remember that any given printer profile is only valid for a specific 
printer plus paper plus ink set and driver setting combination. 

Paper/Media Type 

Paper or media type is one of the most important settings in your driver. Be 
aware that most drivers only allow a choice between papers of a specific 
printer manufacturer. Third-party papers may be a close match or com- 
pletely wrong. Expect the least problems by staying with the family of papers 
a manufacturer provides or suggests. 

With paper type selected, you implicitly select many other parameters 
of the printer driver, and often there is no other way to select them directly. 
Only the manufacturer knows exactly how these settings work. Often, there 
is a lack of a reasonable description of the settings in the printer manual. 

► Paper thickness (distance from heads to paper)* 

► How much ink to lay down 

► Drying time 

► Paper transport speed 

► Possible print quality selections (dpi) 

-» When using third-porty papers, you 
should look for instructions for the proper 
printer settings (including the appropriate 
paper type) when using their paper. You will 
probably find this information on the Internet 
site of the paper manufacturer (see appendix 
D, page 292, for some of the URLs). 

* With some thick (heavy) third-party papers, 
you may have to manually adjust the head 
distance for the paper (be it at the printer or 
in the driver). 

Print Quality Settings 

DPI (dots per inch): Each paper is assigned a certain dpi setting. Generally, 
higher values give better results, but print slower, and often use more ink. 
Also, in many cases, you may distinguish the difference only upon close inspec- 
tion with a magnifying glass. With newer printers and drivers, quality set- 
tings do not name dpi values but use names like Draft, Standard, Photo and 
Best Photo. We are usually quite pleased with the settings referred to as Best. 

Note: Do not confuse these dpi settings with the ppi (pixel per inch) 
resolution your image should have when sent to the printer. These dpi 
settings are the printers internal resolution used to set individual 
printer dots on the paper. This resolution has to be much higher than 
the ppi resolution of the image. 

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5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

* If you do not use color management, then 

you should, at least, leave your original image 

in the sRGB color space, as in most cases the 

driver will assume the picture is in this space. 

Color and Color Management Settings 

These settings make or break good prints. We provided a full chapter on 
Color Management to ensure you get the best possible prints. 

There are three different strategies in working with printers to create 
the colors you want. 

1. Let the client (application) handle color management 

2. Let the printer handle color management 

3. Use manual or automatic color settings for a printer 

We never use option 3, as this eliminates proper color management and 
makes printing of correct colors more of an undesirable gamble/ Now, let's 
see, how the first two options are handled. 

1 . Let the Client Handle Color Management 


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Figure 5-2: Select your Color Management strategy in Photoshop CS3 

Here are the settings to be used, when you let a client 
application, e.g., Photoshop, handle color management: 
(File ► Print, with Photoshop CS3; for CSi or CS2 use 
File ► Print with Preview). This means the printer should 
not do color changes at all. The dialog of figure 5-2 will 
come up. (On page 145, we will explain in some more 
detail how you will come to this view demonstrated in 
figure 5-2 if you are working with Photoshop CSi or 

To see the relevant color management settings in 
the Photoshop dialog, you may have to select Color 
Management from menu ®. Important settings are 
marked in red in figure 5-2. Also make sure that 
Document ® is activated. At ©, set Color Handling to 
Photoshop Manages Colors or Let Photoshop Determine 
Colors (depending on the Photoshop version you are 
using). Now select the appropriate profile at ©. Use 
either Perspective or Relative Colorimetric from the 
Rendering Intent menu ®. For most printing profiles, 
Black Point Compensation ® should be activated. 

When color man- 
agement is done by an 
application, you must 

disable color management in the driver 
(figure 5-3). In other words, do not enable 
CMS in the application and in the driver! 

This is our preferred option used most 
of the time. It is much easier to understand 
what a client application does than what the 
printer is doing in the background. As 

Color Management — 
C Color Controls 
C PhotoEnhance 
C Advanced B&W Photo 
F I cm -<- 

I CC/1 CM Profile— 

(T Off (No Color Adjustment) -^ 

C Applied by Printer Software 

Figure 5-3: Settings to turn color 
handling off in the printer driver 

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5.3 General DriverTasks and Settings 


mentioned earlier, to get the results you want, work on your profiles, and * We will go into more details on these 

improve them.* settings on page 745. 

Good profiles are your ticket to accurate prints! 

2. Let the Printer Handle Color Management 

In this case, the client application does not handle profile conversions, and 
leaves it to the printer driver (see figure 5-4). In almost all cases, this is not 
a good idea, as you rarely understand what the driver is doing. Only on 
some printers, especially when printing in black-and-white, do we use this 
option, which is covered later in chapter 7 "Black- and-White Prints". 

Printing Speed 

Some printers are faster when printing bidirec- 
tional/ In some cases, this somewhat decreases 
image quality. We recommend using this setting 
only if you can see no difference in quality or 
when you need sample proofs quickly. 

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Figure 5-4: With these settings, Photoshop lets 
the prin ter driver handle color managemen t. 

* With some printer drivers, this feature is 
named "High Speed": 

Advanced Settings (Ink Volume, Color Density, Drying Time, etc.) 

Most of the time, you won't need to change any of these settings. 

Yet, we have had situations 
where, for example, the 
prints on Epson Enhanced 
Matte paper came out too 
wet, which caused warping. 
To solve the problem, we 
reduced color density to -5 
or -10. If you do this regu- 
larly with a paper, you might 
be wise to create a special 
profile with these settings. 


Figure 5-5: HP Photosmart 8750 advanced settings 

Figure 5-6: Epson R2400 advanced settings 

More Settings 

The settings listed here are not related to image quality, but more to control- 
ling the layout, paper feed and more. 

Paper Size • Quite obviously, an important setting. The drivers also allow 
the creation of your own custom paper sizes. 

Paper Sources • Most printers have different paths to feed paper: 

► Different trays 

► Single-sheet feed 

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140 5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

► Roll feeder, which also involves automatic or manual cutting. Check 
whether a built-in cutter can handle your paper's weight. 

Paper orientation • Select landscape or portrait mode. 

Borderless printing • We have little experience using this mode, as fine 
art prints nearly always have a border, (at least an inch), to allow proper 
space for matting. 

Number of copies • Normally, you can select the number of copies in the 
client applications printing dialog. 

Scaling • We recommend performing any scaling in the client application, 
e.g., Photoshop. 

Print preview option • We rarely use this option. Sometimes it makes 
sense to check whether your prints have the expected orientation and size. 

Warning: We have heard users say that their prints look "wrong." 
Eventually, we learned that these users had never actually printed their 
images, but were merely viewing the Epson print preview screen. Do 
NOT judge the ultimate colors of prints using the Epson print-preview 
window. They display without color management and can be com- 
pletely inaccurate, generally tending towards magenta. 

Ink-Level Monitor 

Checking ink levels is important, but can also be confusing. When the 
printer indicates some inks being low, have replacement cartridges avail- 
able. Manufacturers want you to change ink as early as possible (for obvious 
reasons). The following has been our experience with two different printers: 

IJJ'JLUJ'JMJ.M- lUJ.LTg* mj Epson Stylus R2400, Pro 3800, Pro 4880 We wait until the 

w Uw printer stops printing before changing an ink cartridge. So far, we 

find that we have not lost a single print in doing this. 

HP Printers We do not switch the cartridge immediately when 
we get a warning. It may be a good idea, however, not to wait until 
the cartridge is completely empty as with some HP printers these 
cartridges contain three different colors of ink, and you may be low 
on only one. Waiting too long may cause pages to print with 
decreasing quality. 

Canon Printers With Canon printers, you should change your 
ink cartridge as soon as you get an ink low-level warning (accord- 
ing to our experience). 

Figure 5-7: R2400 ink level monitor 

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5.4 Summarizing the Relevant Steps for the Actual Printing 


5.4 Summarizing the Relevant Steps for the Actual Printing 

As there are quite a few steps in the final print set-up, let's summarize these 
steps before going into more details. Here we assume that you have set up 
your printer correctly/ and your image is tuned, scaled, sharpened, and 
ready for printing. We also assume that you have checked that you have 
enough ink for the print and your nozzles are not clogged. Then, there are 
three main areas you have to deal with: 

A. Page Setup 

You may have to do this twice: in your application as well as in your 
printer driver. 

B. Print Setup in the application dialog 

C. Setup in the printer driver dialog 
Here are the individual steps for this: 

A. Call up your Print dialog and do your Page Setup: 

A.i Select the printer you intend to use (if it's not your default 

A. 2 Select the Paper Source, Orientation, and Paper Size. 

B. Back in Photoshop (or whatever application you are using), set the way 
the image should be scaled and positioned on the paper/media. 

B.i Set the correct color handling (usually letting the application man- 
age colors). 

B.2 Select the appropriate ICC profile (if the application is managing 
the color mapping), Rendering Intent (usually either Relative 
Colorimetric or Perceptive), and Black Point Compensation (in 
most cases this should be activated). 

B.3 Click Print to enter the actual printer driver dialog. 

C. In the printer driver dialog, check that the Page Setup, orientation and 
similar settings match those done in the Page Setup part of the applica- 
tion Print dialog! Further settings you should do, or at least verify, are:** 

C.i Select the correct paper/media type - and, if available, the proper 
paper source (Sheet or Roll) and/or paper feed. 

C2. Select the proper Print Quality or DPI Settings. This may include 
the Ink Configuration. 

C.3 Where necessary, select the Advanced dialog mode. 

C.4 Check your Print Options (e.g., disable High Speed or Bidirectional 

* This includes installing oil hardware 
components, including inks, your basic 
software and profiles, and that you have 
inserted you paper correctly. 

-> In Photoshop, to see all the settings 
described here, you have to select "Color 
Management" in the top drop-down menu 
(see figure 5-12 ® on page 145). 

** Check these parameters even when you 
recall a previously saved preset! 

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5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

We will describe an example in section 5.9. 

This Color Control Panel will not run with 
Windows Vista! 

C.5 Set the appropriate Color Management. If the application does the 
color management (as recommended), disable color management 
in the print driver. 

D. Finally, click Print to start the actual printing. 

Saving settings as presets is extremely useful, both in the application (if 
provided) as well as in the printer driver or Print/Export plug-in. Never- 
theless, you should check all the settings even when recalling presets for 
your print. We found that when you use a preset and change a single param- 
eter, this may change other settings as well! 

These steps might look a bit different, depending on your operating system 
and the application you print from. It may also differ a bit depending on 
whether you print going via the standard application print dialog followed 
by the printer driver dialog or whether you use one of the new Photoshop 
plug-ins/ But in all cases the basic parameters you will have to set are very 
much the same. 

There is some overlapping of the parameters to be set in these steps, 
e.g., you may have to set your paper size twice - once in the application 
dialog and again in the printer driver. If you are lucky, the setting done in 
the application will be passed on (and thus be synchronized) to the driver. 
But don't count on that. Make sure that both settings match. With some 
printers, the printer will refuse to print if these parameters don't match! 
There might even be a third setting done at the front panel of the printer. 

There are also some printing applications, like Tecco: Print by Tecco or some 
provided by Epson or Canon, which try to facilitate printing. For fine art 
printing, however, we recommend that you refrain from their usage. They 
oversimplify printing and hide some of those settings, that might be impor- 
tant for an optimal quality print. For a beginner they might be helpful, but 
for an advanced user, they are not. 

Instead, do your setup carefully, and save them as presets. The next 
time you print under the same printing conditions, recall the appropriate 
preset. Delete those presets that are flawed in order to have a short and 
clear list. Use descriptive names, though they have to be brief, as with long 
names important parts may be hidden in the menu lists. 

Refrain from manually renaming ICC profiles, as these profiles have 
an internal as well as an external file name. Photoshop and similar applica- 
tions will show the internal name. Renaming the file using Explorer or the 
Mac Finder will not update the internal name but only produce inconsis- 
tencies. With Windows XP, you can use Color Control Panel instead 
(described on page 78 and downloadable from [73]) for renaming.* 
ColorThink Pro by Cromix [66] is another useful utility for this purpose 
and does a fine job here. It is able to inspect ICC profiles, plot their gamut 
in 2D or 3D, and Color Think Pro can correct a number of profile inconsis- 
tencies like a mismatch of the internal and external profile name. 

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5.5 Printing from Client Software (Windows) 


5.5 Printing from Client Software (Windows) 

Quality printing requires applications that are color managed such as 
Photoshop, ImagePrint, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Qimage, and many 
others. We describe printing only from those applications that are mature 
products and come with good documentation. If you do not own any of 
these programs, we recommend keeping all your documents in an sRGB 
working space. With some trial and error and a little luck, you are likely to 
get some decent prints. 

Having discussed the basics of the actual printing in a more general 
form, we now show the workflow for this. After calling up the Print dialog, 
this workflow consists of three phases: 

1. Select your target printer and set up the media source and media size 
and the placement of your image (or images) on the media. 

2. Set the appropriate parameters for the handling of color in your print- 
ing application. 

3. Set the relevant parameters in the printer driver. 

Here we will show the first two steps when printing from Photoshop under 
Windows. As the printing dialog slightly changed from Photoshop CS2 to 
CS3, we will show both versions. 

Page and Printer Setup 

With most applications, and this also applies to Photoshop and Lightroom, 
your first step should be the Page and Printer Setup. Use File ► Page Setup 
for this. The dialog demonstrated in figure 5-8 will appear. 





If your target printer is not 
your system's default printer, 
your first step is to select your 
target fine art printer. For this 
click on Printer and select the 
appropriate printer from the 
Name menu (figure 5-9). 

Now click OK to go back to 
your Page Setup dialog, where 
you select your media Source, 
your media Size and whether you want to use Portrait or Landscape printing. 

Photoshop will associate these settings with your image and recall them the 
next time you call up the Print dialog for this image (which might or might not 
be appropriate). 

Figure 5-9: In Page Setup, click Properties to display 
more printer driver settings. 


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Figure 5-8: Page Setup. The Printer button 

may not be available in Windows Vista or with 

newer printer drivers or with Photoshop CS3. 

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5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

Printing from Photoshop CS1 or CS2 





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Figure 5-10: Photoshop CS2 basic print dialog. You will have to click on More Options to see the 
full dialog, demonstrated in figure 5-77. 

To initiate the Print dialog use Print 
with preview. Initially, Photoshop 
shows the dialog of figure 5-10. This 
dialog does not offer color manage- 
ment settings. Therefore, you should 
activate the advanced dialog by 
clicking More Options at ® to see 
the full option list displayed in fig- 
ure 5-11. Additionally, you may have 
to select Color Management from 
menu ® to see those options that 
are relevant for a good print. Finally, 
you should see the dialog demon- 
strated in figure 5-11. 
Before changing any other settings, make sure you have the correct 
Page and Printer setup (see figure 5-8). (You can verify it by clicking on the 
Page Setup button ®, in figure 5-10.) Now place your print on your page by 
setting appropriate values for the Scale (or Height and Width) and the Top 
and Left margins. You can change the size of the image. Normally, we do 

this in Photoshop before entering 



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the printing dialog, because all this 
option does here is to change the ppi 
of the document to match the new 
print size. This is fine for minor 
resizing, but in other situations you 
are better advised to use the more 
advanced scaling techniques in 
Photoshop, or perhaps a dedicated 
Photoshop plug-in. 

The next step concerns color 
management, located in the Color 
Management (or Options) block of 
the dialog box (figure 5-11). As these 
items are the same for Photoshop 
CS3, we will explain them on page 

Figure 5-11: Photoshop CS2 advanced-printing dialog 

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5.5 Printing from Client Software (Windows) 


Print Dialog with Photoshop CS3 

Since Photoshop CS3 there is no longer a Print with Preview option. Instead, 
you use File ► Print (or just [ctrll -Qj]). The dialog of figure 5-12 will appear. 
Again, it's reasonable to check the appropriate settings for the Printer and 
Page Setup. The dialog here offers additional items, allowing you to directly 
select your printer from menu © and also to switch between Landscape and 
Portrait mode ©. Place your print on the page as described with Photoshop 
CS2 (previous page). 

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Figure 5-12: Print dialog in Photoshop CS3. It offers some more options than Photoshop CS2 (e.g., direct printer selection). 

Now let's go into a bit more detail on the Color Management settings: 

® Make sure Color Management is selected in menu ® . 

® We select the Document Option, which shows our document's work- 
ing space; here it is Adobe RGB (1998). Proof should only be used when 
you intend to do a Proof for another device or print method (e.g., 
CMYK press printing) on your inkjet printer. 

Color Handling allows a selection from four options (see figure 5-13): 
Normally, we would use Photoshop Manages Colors. (With CS2 this 
reads: Let Photoshop Determine Colors). This way, Photoshop controls 

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5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

Color Handling: | Photoshop Manages Colors ^] 
Printer Manages Colors 

Figure 5-13: Color Handling options in 
Photoshop's Print dialog 

* In section 7.5 we describe how you may 
produce a black-and-white ICC profile. 

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Figure 5-14: Color Management settings in 
CS3 (repetition) 

the mapping of color values from those images to those of the printer. 
There are situations where we may use different settings: 

Black-and-white printing. If we have no special black-and-white 
profile, we let the driver do the color mapping. 

If, however, we have a black-and-white profile, we again use this 
profile and use Photoshop Manages Colors* 

Printing of color targets to create printer profiles. Here we need to 
set Color Handling to No Color Management. 

For fine art prints we never use Separations or No Color Management. 

@ In Printer Profile you select the correct or most appropriate profile. It 
has to match the printer, plus the media, plus the ink set used and, 
finally, also the driver settings used (this refers to your Quality or DPI 
settings in the printer driver). As stated previously, good profiles pro- 
duce good prints. Currently, many printers come with adequate generic 
profiles to get you started. 

(D For Rendering Intent there are two choices when printing photos: 

Perceptual: This is appropriate when your image has a lot of colors "out 
of gamut" (see section 3.4, page 62). This may be the case when printing 
a colorful image on matte paper. 

Relative Colorimetric: Use this intent when colors in your image fit 
into the gamut of the printer color space. Check for this in Photoshop 
by activating gamut warning ( @ - \ar)\ - \Y\ , Mac: - (H) - (T) ) . 

No best rendering intent is suitable for all images. You need to experi- 
ment to learn which one fits your personal style or even a specific image. 
We prefer to print with the relative colorimetric rendering intent most 
of the time. 

There are also some profiling packages (e.g., basilCColor by Color 
Solutions [65]), which use Saturation for a modified version of the 
Perceptual rendering intent, which will result in less color shifting and 
more saturated colors than regular Perceptual. 

© Check the box Black Point Compensation. This feature by Adobe com- 
pensates for a different level of black between the working color space 
and the printer color space. 

Activating Black Point Compensation may not yield the best result 
with all RGB profiles. There seem to be a few profiles (actually profil- 
ing packages), where leaving this option deactivated will result in bet- 
ter prints. If the provider of your profile (e.g., a paper manufacturer) 
says you should deactivate the option, follow that advice. 

Finally, click on Print to open the driver settings, which we will describe in 
the following sections. 

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5.6 Print Driver Dialog in Windows 


5.6 Print Driver Dialog in Windows 

In section 5.7 we will describe the printer driver dialog in Mac OS X. Though 
the basics are very much the same, the dialogs and tabs look different in 
Windows. We use the Epson R2400 printer as an example in both cases. 
This example is also valid for the whole line using the K3 ink 
set: Epson Stylus Photo R2400, Epson Stylus Pro 3800 / 4800 / 
7800 and Pro 9800. Also the newer generation of the Pro lines 
(4880 / 7880 / 9880) will show almost identical dialogs. 

The Inks 

This series of Epson printers feature the same ink type (Ultra- 
Chrome™ K3, 9 inks). 

Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, Light Light Black 
Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light Magenta, Yellow 

These printers actually simultaneously use (and have online) only eight inks 
out of the nine.* Photo Black and Matte Black are used for glossy and matte 
papers, respectively. Unfortunately, it is required to switch the Matte Black 
ink for Photo Black ink when switching from matte to glossy media and vice 
versa. This procedure costs time and ink, and on the Pro printer line, it is a 
substantial amount of ink - about $75 worth is used up for every change of 
black inks. These printers do not use a Gloss Optimizer, because the new 
ink formulas do not require it. 

All nine printers have three different dilutions of 
black, Photo or Matte Black, Light Black and Light Light 
Black, allowing them to produce very good black-and- 
white prints with a highly neutral look and smooth gradi- 
ents. We cover this in more detail in chapter 7 on black- 
and-white printing. 

Figure 5-15: Epson Stylus Photo R2400 
(Courtesy of Epson America Inc.) 

* An exception is the Pro 3800, which allows 
all nine inks to be installed simultaneously 
but which still has to switch the Photo Black 
and Matte Black ink when changing media 
and rinse out the corresponding ink channel 

Driver settings recommendations 

As stated earlier, what is covered here is not a replace- 
ment for the printer manual. And as before, we assume 
you do all color management in your printing applica- 
tion, e.g., Photoshop. We show only the settings of the 
R2400, as the same principles apply to the other more 
professional printers (Pro 4880 through the Pro 9880). 

Paper source selection Most users 
will print single sheets with this 
printer directly from the paper tray, 
but the R2400 also comes with a roll- 
feeder option out of the box. 




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Figure 5-16: Driver settings recommended for fine art printing using the 
Epson R2400. (Your current version might look a bit different.) 

Downloaded from: 


5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

Premium Semigloss Photo Paper ^J 

Plain Paper 

Photo Quality InkJet Paper 
Enhanced Matte Paper 
Matte Paper - Heavyweight 
Premium Glossy Photo Paper 
Premium Luster Photo Paper 

Velvet Fine Art Paper 
Watercolor Paper - Radiant White 
UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper 
Double-Sided Matte Paper 
Proofing Paper Semimatte 

Figure 5-17: Selecting the right medio is 

essential, as it determines a lot of printing 

parameters like ink density, drying time, 

and even head distance to the paper. 

Letter (31/2x11 in) 


Legal (8 1/2x14 in) 

8x10 in 

5 x 7 in 

4 x 6 in 

3.5 x 5 in 

11 x14in 


US 8 (11 x17in) 

A3 (11.7x13.5 in) 

Super 3 (13x13 in) 

Half Letter (5 1/2x8 1/2 in) 

83 (14.3x20.2 in) 

A2 (16.5x23.4 in) 

USC (17x22 in) 

User Defined 

Figure 5-18: Menu for media size 

Custom Settings... 







Marine : |new_setting 

Figure 5-19: Save your settings in 
a preset. 

Paper Type The list offered here is dependent on which black ink is used 
in the printer (Photo Black or Matte Black). You should try to find an exact 
match here. Using a third-party paper, you'll have to estimate which Epson 
paper is closest to the characteristics of your specific paper. You may have to 
do some experimenting, using different paper type settings. With some 
luck, you may find advice on paper type settings at the Internet site of the 
paper manufacturer of your paper (See appendix D, page 292, for the URLs 
of some of the well-known paper manufacturers.) This setting will influ- 
ence quite a number of internal parameter for printing, e.g., the amount 
of ink laid down, drying time (and thus print speed) and also determine 
what kind of quality or print resolution settings the driver dialog will offer 
(see next point). 

While up to now most printers do not allow the addition of a new 
media type - actually, it is a kind of media profile -, HP offers this pos- 
sibility with its B9180 and Z3100 printer line. We describe that in section 
A. 4 on page 251. HP also provides a technical paper on how to do it. 

Photo RPM 


Best Photo 

Print Quality The available quality settings depend on 
the media type selected. The highest- quality setting usu- 
ally produces the best results at the expense of speed and 
ink usage. A lower- quality setting may produce a result 
close to maximum quality, e. g., Best Photo instead of Photo RPM. 

Paper/Media Size Most of the time you will find an appropriate paper size 
listed here. In rare cases, you may need to create a custom size by selecting 
User Defined. Simply select and follow the instructions. 


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Orientation Choose either Landscape or 
Portrait mode. 

Print Options 

► High Speed: Off, for best quality 

► Edge Smoothing: Off, for fine art photos 

► Print Preview: We usually turn it off. Be 
aware that colors may appear untrue. This 
preview is not color managed. 

Save your settings 

You will probably use only a few different papers with few variations. 
Therefore, having found the right settings for a certain type of print job and 
paper, save the settings and recall them later. It is much faster, and there is 
no danger you will forget to set all parameters correctly for this particular 
type of job. To save your current settings, click Save Setting (see figure 5-16, 
lower left side), but with Windows, you have to use terse names (31 charac- 
ters, maximum). 

Downloaded from: 

5.6 Print Driver Dialog in Windows 


Color Management in the Printer Driver 

For the R2400, we turn printer Color Management off (unless printing black- 
and-white images) and do profile selection and color control inside 
Photoshop. The dialog for the printer driver setting shows exactly how 

For black-and-white printing we would use the Advanced B&W Photo 
mode, which we describe in our "Black- and- White Prints" chapter 7. If we 
have a black-and-white ICC profile, we use this profile and will select 
Photoshop Manages Colors in the Photoshop dialog Print with Preview and 
nevertheless deactivate color adjustment in the printer driver and activate 
Advanced B&W Photo mode in the driver's Color Management settings. 

Color Management — 
C Color Controls 
C PhotoEnhance 
r Advanced B&W Photo 
<* ICM^- 

■ I CM CM Profile — 
<? Off (No Color Adjustment) ^ 
C Applied by Printer Software 

Figure 5-20: Disable CMS in the driver 
if it is activated in the application. 

Ink monitor and maintenance tools 

When using Epson printers, continue printing until the printer 
prompts you to replace an ink cartridge. When you get the Ink Low 
message, ensure you have a replacement ink cartridge available, as 
the printer will soon be out of ink and stop printing. 

The dialogs for the ink level monitor and the maintenance tools 
are almost identical to those of the Epson R1800. See page 230 for 
the description of those dialogs. 

Status Monitor: Shows the ink-level dialog 

Nozzle Check and Cleaning: Select this when you have not used 
the printer for some days. Check for banding or missing colors. Be 
aware that this procedure consumes ink. 

Nozzle Check (manual) / Head Cleaning (manual) : Use these only 
when you feel there is a major problem. Again, this will consume 
quite a bit of ink. 

Print Head Alignment: Check this if you see banding. 

Printer and Option Information: This is the dialog (see figure 5-22) 
used to indicate which black is currently loaded. Be sure it shows the 
black that actually is loaded into the printer, because the driver 
depends on this information to work properly. 

Profiles provided by Epson for the R2400 

Epson provides good generic profiles, but only for their own papers. 
You may further improve color fidelity by using custom-made pro- 
files. Most profiles come specifically targeted to certain print quality 
settings. (When you create your own custom-made profiles, you 
should do the same and include an indication of the settings in your 
printer profile name.) Check that your choice of profile (in the client 


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Figure 5-21: Always check your ink levels before starting 
a new print job. 


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Figure 5-22: This dialog indicates what version of the 
black ink currently is installed. 

Downloaded from: 


5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

@ SPR2400 
@ SPR2400 
@ SPR2400 
@ SPR2400 
@ SPR2400 
@ SPR2400 
@ SPR2400 

Figure 5-23: Profiles provided by 

Epson for the R2400. Some of these 

you may have to download from 

Epson's Web page. 

Archival Matte.icm 
D-S Matte Paper. icrm 
D-S Matte Paper_PK.icm 
Enhanced Matte, icrm 
Enhanced Matte_PK.icrn 
Matte Paper -HW. icrm 
Matte Paper - HW_PK. icrm 
Photo Qlty UP. icrm 
Photo Qlty IJP_PK. icrm 
PrermGlsy BstPhoto.icc 
PrermGlsy Photo. ice 
PrermGlsy PhotoRPM. ice 
PrermiurmSermigloss . icrm 
PrermLuster BstPhoto.icc 
PrermLuster Photo. ice 
PrermLuster PhotoRPM. ice 
PrermSrmgls BstPhoto.icc 
PrermSrmgls Photo, ice 
PrermSrmgls PhotoRPM, ice 
Proof ingSermirmatte . icrm 
UsrmoothFine Art. icrm 
UsrmoothFine Art_PK , icrm 
Velvet Fine Art. icrm 
Velvet Fine Art_PK.icrm 
WC Paper - RW. icrm 
WC Paper - RW_PK.icrn 

application, e.g., Photoshop) matches the print quality settings done in the 
print driver dialog (Photo, Best Photo, Photo RPM). 

Some help for paper feeding 

With the R2400, we have encountered some problems when feeding sheet 
paper. If this happens, it may be helpful to apply slight pressure with a finger 
at the top of the sheet. 

Handling with Other Fine Art Printers 

The scheme we showed here is a typical one. The driver dialogs will slightly 
change from one printer manufacturer to another, from one printer model 
to another and may even change with new releases of the operating system 
or new updated versions of the printer driver. A setting you find with tab A 
for one printer might be located in tab B with a different printer. So, take 
your time to find your way around to determine where the settings for 
media type selection, print quality selection, and color management set- 
tings for the driver are located. The basics, however, as summarized in sec- 
tion 5.4, will remain the same for all printers. 

You will find the description of more fine art printers from Canon, 
Epson and Hewlett Packard in appendix A. 

When intending to print in black-and-white, there are actually three 
options (as mentioned before): 

A. Print it the same way you do a color print as described in this chapter. 
This will require a good, gray- neutral color profile. It allows you to tone 
or tint your image in Photoshop, Lightroom, or whatever image editor 
you are using. It even allows you to do a split toning. 

B. Use the special black-and-white mode that your printer driver offers. 
This method will be explained in chapter 7. It will allow for a very neu- 
tral black-and-white print. With this method, toning can be done in the 
dialog for the black-and-white mode of the driver. 

C. Print using a RIP (Raster Image Processor) that offers special features for 
high-quality black-and-white prints. We will describe this method in 
section 6.3. 

Downloaded from: 

5.7 Printer Driver Settings in Mac OS X 


5.7 Printer Driver Settings in Mac OS X 

There are many variations of a Windows -version printer driver interface; 
the look of the interface depends on the printer manufacturer. Even the 
driver dialog boxes of the same manufacturer show many variations when 
handling different printers from the same manufacturer - or even different 
from one version of the driver to the next. While we will use Windows- 
based examples later in this chapter, we would also like to show the driver 
setting scheme for Mac OS X. Apple has designed a very clean and consis- 
tent framework for various driver dialogs. The basic Mac OS X driver dialog 
hierarchy looks like this: 

Printer Choose the printer you wish to print on. 

Presets If you have saved some printer settings previously 
you will find those names in the drop-down menu. Load a set 
by selecting its menu item. Otherwise, use Standard, and 
make individual settings in the various dialog boxes selected 
from the drop -down -menu: 

This is a menu where you find most of 
the various settings' dialog boxes for the 
printer. There is a standard scheme, and 
menu items are there for nearly all print- 
ers (e.g., Copies & Pages, Layout, Scheduler, 
ColorSync, and Summary). Some menu 
items are printer and manufacturer spe- 
cific: e.g., Print Settings, Extension Settings 
and Paper Configuration. With some printers you will find 
even more entries in this menu, while with other printers 
some of the entries might be missing (e.g., Extension Settings). 
So, the first time you enter this domain for a new printer, take 
your time to find your way around. This may be a bit confus- 
ing when you do this with a new fine art printer. 

Here is a short explanation of the various menus and set- 

Layout • Lets you specify the number of images you wish to 
place on one sheet (see figure 5-25). For fine art printing this is 
not useful, as placement is arbitrary. If you want to do an index 
print or place several images on one sheet, you can use 
Photoshop or other applications to do this. This dialog box 
changes slightly when a different printer is used. 

Schedule • You may specify (see figure 5-26) when the print 
job should begin. With fine art printing, you usually want it to 
start right away, which may be the default in the print queue. 

A disadvantage of the Mac OS X solution 
is that important settings are often spread 
across different dialogs. 

Paper Hindln^ 

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Figure 5-24: Basic prin t dialog in Mac OS X. 

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Figure 5-26: Mac OS X printer Scheduler tab. 

Downloaded from: 


5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

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Figure 5-28: Mac OS X ColorSync tab 

Paper Handling • You may scale your print here, which is 
fine when slight scaling is required. For fine art printing, scal- 
ing should be done either when preparing the image for print 
(see chapter 4) in Photoshop, or should be left to the RIP when 
using one. If you print a portfolio with a multi-page docu- 
ment, and want to print duplex without having a printer 
equipped with duplex capability, you may use the strategy of 
first printing all Odd numbered pages, re-inserting the paper 
stack and then printing Even numbered pages, while activating 

ColorSync • Here, you select how the Mac OS X color-man- 
agement system is involved. You may do some image prepro- 
cessing using Quartz filters, which we do not recommend, 
when printing directly from Photoshop. 

ColorSync settings are useful when printing from an 
application that is not color managed. In this case, ColorSync 
may take over and provide color management, e.g., mapping 
image color from the image color space to the printer color 
space. However, you can't select the printer profile from this 
printer driver dialog, but must do that set-up using 
the ColorSync Utility (found in Applications ►Utilities ► 
ColorSync Utility). See Mac OS X help for more information. 

Cover Page • This option allows you to print a cover page. In 
fine art printing, this may be undesirable, considering the cost 
of fine art paper and expensive ink. 


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Figure 5-29: With 'Print Settings', you do most of the settings for 
your print. 

Printer Settings 

These are the most important settings in fine art printing. This 
dialog box is printer- and manufacturer- specific, resembling 
Windows printer driver dialogs. Figure 5-29 shows an example 
of the dialog for the Epson R2400 printer: 

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Page Setup With the 
R2400, you are given a 
choice between Stan- 
dard (Sheet Feeder) and 
Paper Roll. 

Media Type Select your media (paper) here. The R2400 
printer driver only offers those media working together 
with the type of black ink cartridge in place, either Photo 
Black or Matte Black (the latter was inserted as the screen 
shot was taken). All unsuitable media are greyed out and 
therefore not accessible. 

Downloaded from: 

5.7 Printer Driver Settings in Mac OS X 


As with most printer drivers, the driver interface only offers Epson media. 
If you use a third-party paper, you must estimate which Epson paper is 
the closest equivalent. 

► Color For the R2400 (and this line of Epson printers), you may either 
print in Color, Advanced B&W Photo, which we select for black-and- 
white printing (see chapter 7) or Black only, which is useless for our 

► Mode For fine art printing, select Advanced, so that the dialog will 
show the advanced settings for the printer as shown in figure 5-29. 

► Print Quality The drop -down list will offer different 
printing qualities, depending on the media type selected 
(e. g., for plain paper, only Economy and Fine are possi- ' 
bly enabled). For fine art prints using the Epson R2400, 
we recommend Best Photo. Below that, we disable High 
Speed and activate Finest Detail. 

Color Management You may define how color management is 
done and by which application. If printing directly from Photo- 
shop, turn color management off as shown in figure 5-30. If you 
print from a non-color-managed application, you should acti- 
vate ColorSync and do your printer- specific set-up in ColorSync 
(Applications/Utilities/ColorSync Utility). 

Extension Settings This is printer specific and only available 
for some printers. For example, with the Epson R2400, you 
may specify that you are using Thick paper. 

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Figure 5-31: 
Extensions Settings 
with the Epson R2400 

We only activate Thick paper if the paper is rated at more than 
200 g/m 2 . 

Paper configuration This item is only available with some 
printers (such as the Epson R2400). You may reduce Color 
Density - actually ink density - (see figure 5-32), which may 
prevent paper warping when printing on thinner paper. 


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Downloaded from: 


5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 


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F/'gi/re 5S3: Summary of all the printer driver settings 

Summary This can be very convenient, as all settings are sum- 
marized here and the individual details may be shown or hid- 
den by clicking on the small * icon (see figure 5-33). 

Save Settings 

After having tested various settings and discovered the proper 
settings for a printer and a specific type of print job, you should 
save those settings so you may recall them at a later time. To 
save your settings, go to the menu item Save As under the 
drop-down menu for Presets. Give a descriptive setting name 
that states the type of paper and other important parameters. 
This name will then show up in the drop -down menu for 

Figure 5-34: 

Save your driver settings 

using a descriptive name. 

Printer-Maintenance Utilities 

You will find printer maintenance utilities for inkjet printers in the dock: 
Printer Setup Utility PP ( see figure 5-35). 

Select your printer there (we did it for our Epson Stylus 
Photo R2400), and click on Utility (w )• This utility, 
used with the Epson inkjet printers, will bring up the 
Epson maintenance utilities as shown in figure 5-36: 

Figure 5-35: You should be able to find the Mac OS X "Printer Setup Utility" 
inside your dock. It shows a list of all printers installed. 


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From the "Printer Setup Utility" you may 
call up the "Epson Printer Utility" which 
offers major maintenance functions. 

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Here, you find those maintenance functions already described in section 5.2. 

Downloaded from: 

5.7 Printer Driver Settings in Mac OS X 


Starting from the "Printer List" (actually, it is the Printer Setup Utility; 
see figure 5-35), you may also call up the Mac ColorSync Utility. (Click \ ). 
When Color Sync Utility appears, select tab ^ Devices (figure 5-37). There, 
you may assign profiles to a device (here, a specific printer). This is useful 
if you print from a non- color-managed application, and ColorSync must 
do the color mapping. However, we do not use this feature, as we control 
color management in our application print dialog or (when printing black- 
and-white) in the printer driver, and do not use this feature of ColorSync 
for fine art prints. 

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As said before, some of the printer driver dialogs described 
here are very printer- specific, while others - e.g., Copies & 
Pages, Scheduler, ColorSync, Cover Page, and Summary are 
the same for all printers. Also the dialogs for Paper Handling 
and Paper Configuration are of a general nature, and only 
differ in some paper options. 

The problem with this potentially large number of tabs 
and dialogs is that you easily forget to set an important 
parameter, and some settings in one dialog box can influ- 
ence settings in another one, without you noticing this. 
Therefore, saving driver settings (as described on page 154) 
for a specific combination of a printer plus the type of 
media and some more settings (e.g., Print Quality) is really 
essential. Later on, when printing under the same condi- 
tions, you can simply recall the major settings from the 
Preset list (see figure 5-38). 

Figure 5-37: 

You should assign the appropriate 
profiles to your devices using 
the "ColorSync Utility". This helps 
when printing from a non-color- 
managed application. 

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Figure 5-38: From the Presets list you can recall settings that you 
saved previously. 

Downloaded from: 


5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

5.8 Printing from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 

Figure 5-39: Here you set some important 
parameters for your print. 

* Print resolution (ppi = pixels per inch) here 

is the number of image pixels set per printed 

inch, while the dpi of the printer (set via the 

print quality setting in the printer driver) is the 

number of ink droplets laid down on paper 

to reproduce image pixels - several droplets 

per pixel. 

Let's have a look at a different application - this time it's Lightroom. We will 
see that most of the settings we did in Photoshop we will meet again in this 

In Lightroom, printing is done using the Print module. It allows you 
to do an even finer page layout, adding more information like a caption 
and similar metadata to the print. For most fine art prints you will probably 
refrain from this. Here, we will not go into all the page layout details of 
Lightroom but only have an eye on the points concerning color manage- 
ment. A really nice feature of Lightroom is the possibility to save the setup 
for a print to a Lightroom preset and to select a preset - either previously 
saved by you or provided by the Lightroom installation - when printing. 
This preset can only cover page size, page orientation and page layout, but 
also settings like sharpening, print resolution, ICC profile and Rendering 
Intent. Nevertheless, the basic scheme is very much the same as with Photo- 

i. Select a suitable preset and adapt its settings to your current image 
(concerning cell size, boarders and information that should be included 
in the print). Here, the presets are called Templates and can be found in 
the Template Browser pane (see figure 5-40 ®). 

2. Do your Page Setup ( figure 5-40 (§)), which covers the paper size, print 
orientation (Landscape or Portrait) and, optionally, the scaling. All 
these settings may already be included in your Lightroom print preset 
(here called Template). 

3. The color management oriented settings are found in the Print Job pane 
of Lightroom (see figure 5-40 © and figure 5-39). So let's have a closer 
look at this pane, herewith ignoring Draft Mode Printing. 

Print Resolution • For most inkjet printers, the optimal print resolution 
will be from 300 to 360 ppi (also called printers native resolution). Don't 
confuse this with the printer's printing resolution which is usually much 
higher - 1200 to 5 600 dpi for modern inkjet printers/ For Canon and HP 
printers, the best native resolution setting here should be 300 dpi, while for 
Epson Printers you should use 360 dpi. 

With high-quality fine art inkjet printers, you might get an even better 
print if you use a Print Resolution setting of 600 ppi for HP and Canon 
printers and 720 ppi for Epson fine art printers. Lightroom, however, does 
not support this. Lightroom's maximum setting for Print Resolution is 
480 ppi, which, to our experience, is good enough. Lightroom will auto- 
matically up- or down- sample your image to this resolution when sending 
the image data to the printer. 

Use Draft Mode Printing only if you produce contact sheet prints or 
just want to do a fast draft. Lightroom will use the preview image (if 

Downloaded from: 

5.8 Printing from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 


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Figure 5-40: Main panels in Lightroom's Print module. 

available) instead of down- sampling the actual image. This may speed up 
the printing, but it does not produce optimal image quality. If you use draft 
mode, color management settings are not available. 

If you plan to produce a fine art print, your settings for color manage- 
ment are relevant: select an ICC color profile and a rendering intent. They 
depend on whether you intend to print color or black and white.* We elab- 
orate on black-and-white prints in chapter 7. There, we also cover more 
settings for specific printer drivers. 

Print Sharpening • If you did not yet perform an output- specific sharpen- 
ing, you can let Lightroom do some print-sharpening. Lightroom offers 
only three settings: Low, Medium, and High (see figure 5-41). The right 
degree of sharpening depends on the extent to which you have already 
sharpened in Lightroom's Develop mode. It also depends on your image. 
In most cases, using Low is just fine. With sharpening, photographers have 
a saying: Sharp, sharper, busted. So don't overdo it. But without extensive 
experience, it is quite hard to properly judge the right sharpening for print- 
ing from your on-screen preview (and Lightroom does not simulate its 
additional print sharpening in its preview). So, some iterations maybe nec- 
essary until you find your best settings. Having found them, save them in 
print template. 

* Provided the printer has a special mode for 
black-and-white printing. 

Figure 5-41: Here, you can set your print- 
specific sharpening. 

Downloaded from: 


5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

Figure 5-42: Here, you choose your printer ICC 

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f/'gi/re 5-43: Place a checkmark next to all 

profiles that you want to be listed in the profile 

menu of Lightroom. 

Color Management • When doing color prints, we let the application 
(here, it's Lightroom) do the color management (as we did with Photoshop). 
We have two parameters for this: Profile and Rendering Intent. The Photo- 
shop option Black Point Compensation is missing here. We assume, that 
black point compensation is done in any case. 

When you try to select an ICC profile for the first time in Lightroom, 
the application will offer only a few, though you might have quite a few 
more installed on your system. So, you first have to select which profiles 
show up in the Profile menu. To do so, select Other (see figure 5-42). 
Lightroom will bring up a dialog containing a list of printer profiles (figure 
5-43). Check profiles that you want to be listed in the Lightroom profile 
menu and click OK. Now select the profile from the menu that you intend 
to use for the print. The profile name should (hopefully) include the printer 
type it was designed for, the paper it is intended for, and the quality settings 
used in the printer driver. (Naming is up to the one who did the profiling. 
Though you can rename the profile file, we do not recommend it because it 
may cause inconsistencies.) 

Out of the four rendering intents named in section 3.4, Lightroom 
offers only Relative Colorimetric and Perceptual - just the two suited for 
digital photos. In most cases, we use Relative, which stands for Relative 
Colorimetric. With this setting, all image colors that can be reproduced 1:1 
are reproduced 1:1, while all colors that lie outside the printer's color space 
are mapped to the closest color in the printer's space. This will result in less 
color shifts than by using Perceptual for Rendering Intent. If, however, your 
image has a lot of highly saturated reds and blues, using Perceptual may 
provide better results. With Perceptual, if the color space of your photo- 
graph is wider than the color space of the printer (which quite often is the 
case), all colors are compressed to fit into the destination space. This will 
result in less color clipping of out- of- gamut colors. Thus, images with 
highly saturated colors will retain more of the original image impression. 
With Perceptual, the result is more dependent on the quality of the ICC 
profile than it is with Rendering Intent set to Relative. 

Note: Some profiles are designed for a specific rendering intent. 
When you use them, you should use that specific intent. So, for 
instance, the profiles provided by Bill Atkinson and some of HP's 
printer profiles are designed to be used with a Perceptual intent. Some 
others (e.g., produced by basICColor) will offer the best mapping of 
saturated colors using a Saturation intent; Lightroom, however, does 
not offer this. With those profiles, you may have to use Photoshop or 
some other print application or use Perceptual and achieve a some- 
what less saturated print. 

Finally, you click the Print button. This will bring up the Print dialog of your 
operating system, the same way it will be with Photoshop. 

Downloaded from: 

5.9 Printing Using a Printer Plug-in 


5.9 Printing Using a Printer Plug-in 

As can be seen from our previous descriptions, you actually have (at least) 
three instances to deal with when printing: the Print dialog of your applica- 
tion, the general print dialog of your operating system and the printer spe- 
cific parts of the printer driver. There is also some overlapping of the tasks 
performed by the operating system and those performed by the printer 
driver. Some of the parameters - e.g., print size - can be set in either the 
application or operating system interface, or in the printer driver dialog/ 
Examples of this are Photoshop's Print dialog, the print Size dialog, and the 
driver dialog. For the user it's not always clear whether a parameter set here 
will be passed on consistently to the other side. 

Additionally, in the past, only 8 -bit data (per color channel) were 
passed from the application to the operating system and driver. This might 
not be too bad, as the dynamic range most printing techniques can repro- 
duce is less than 8 bit. (8 bit allows for 256 shades of a color/channel, while 
prints on paper typically lie in the range of about 60-128 shades.) Never- 
theless, every new generation of fine art printers, and even newer papers 
are going to extend this range, and it would be desirable, that if you work 
with 16-bit images (per color channel), you could pass this full 16-bit data 
on to the driver and leave the task of 16 -bit to 8 -bit mapping to the driver, 
especially, as the driver doesn't map RGB to RGB, but RGB to the number 
of ink colors available with the printer: 8-12 color with the printers we 
discuss here. 

Therefore, in 2006, for some fine art printers, manufacturers started to 
provide 16 -bit enabled drivers for their printers. They did this in the form 
of a special (Export) plug-in, but up-to-now, only available for Photoshop. 
Canon did this when introducing the iFP 5000 printer line, and HP started 
to do it with its B9180 printer. 

* With the Canon iPFsooo, for instance, the 
printer will not start, if there is a mismatch 
between these two settings. 

Canon imagePROGRAF Print Plug-In for Photoshop 

When the plug- in is installed, an additional entry will be encountered in 
your Export list in Photoshop (File ► Export ► iPFxxx). So, with the Canon 
solution, instead of using Print you use this Export module. This plug-in 
controls your complete print job with all parameters. They are grouped 
into four tabs (see figure 5-44): Main, Page Setup, Color Settings, and Print 

Main Tab 

The Main tab controls: 

► Printer (if you have more than one) 

► Media Type (select the Canon media or a paper type that comes close) 

► Input Resolution to Plug-in (we use 600 ppi) 

imagePROGRAF Print Hug-In tut HiDtoshop 

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Figure 5-44: With the Canon Export plug-in, 
the settings are grouped under four tabs. 

Downloaded from: 


5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

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Figure 5-46: This tab provides those settings that are usually found in the 
Page Setup dialog when printing with Photoshop. 

► Input Bit Depth to Plug-in (we use 16-bit which of 
course makes more sense with 16 -bit images) 

► Printer Output Resolution (we mainly use the max- 
imum 2400 x 1200 dpi 16 pass) 

► Output Profile. You can also use Auto (Monochrome 
Photo) for black-and-white prints). 

► Matching Method is the so-called rendering intent 
(we mostly use Relative Colorimetric) . 

► Set Configuration allows the setting of the up-scal- 
ing algorithm and extra sharpening (we left it at 
zero, so far). 

For the other entries you should consult the manual or 
play with the dialogs. 

Page Setup tab 

This tab (see figure 5-46 ) provides those settings that 
are usually found in the Page Setup dialog when print- 
ing with Photoshop. You can scale your print size here, 
but we prefer to do this in Photoshop because we don't 
find scaling by percentage that appealing (this is actu- 
ally our only minor issue so far). The essential param- 
eters here are: 

► Media size (needs to match with the printer set- 

► Orientation (Portrait or Landscape) 

► Layout 

► Media source (also needs to match printer set- 

Though the image may still be in RGB mode 

The Size Options allows you to create new custom paper sizes. 

Color Settings tab 

In normal color mode, you get the dialog demonstrated in figure 5-47. We 
never tweak colors in the driver (the proper ICC profile should do this); 
therefore, we leave all at the default. 

If, however, you print a black-and-white image* and you select Mono- 
chrome Photo from the Output Profile menu (see figure 5-45), the dialog 
changes to that shown in figure 5-48. This dialog is used to tweak the black- 
and-white output. Most important to us is the control of the black-and- 
white white tone. We generally use X = -2 and Y = -10. 

Downloaded from: 

5.9 Printing Using a Printer Plug-in 


Figure 5-47: The Color Settings tab provides those settings that are 
usually found in the Page Setup dialog when printing with Photoshop. 



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f/gi/re 5-48.' Co/or Settings when using the Auto (Monochrome Photo) 

You may also tweak the Tone Curve to match the preview and the print 
better (see figure 5-49). However, you may prefer to do this either in a 
profile (see section 7.5) or in Photoshop using an adjustment layer. 

Print History tab 

This tab (see figure 5-50 and figure 5-51 on page 161) is very helpful for 
your print workflow It serves two purposes. It will allow you to: 

► Revisit and recall recently printed jobs (last 100 are recorded) 

► Save print job settings as favorites that can be later applied to new 
prints jobs. 

This is a very useful tool. 







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Figure 5-49: You may tweak the Tone Curve for your 
black-and-white print. 











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F/'gi/re 5-50: Print History tab of the '1PF5000 

Figure 5-51: Prin t History details 

Downloaded from: 


5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

Conclusion on the Plug-in 

Overall, we love this plug-in and don't want to be without it. Up to now, the 
main advantage of using this plug-in has been the point that all major set- 
tings for a print are gathered in one dialog (even if you have to deal with 
several tabs). Again, use the possibility to save settings and recall them 
when printing under the same conditions. We could not really see a big 
difference quality- wise between printing in 16-bit instead of 8-bit, but that 
may change in the future (or our eyes may not be critical enough or the 
effect may not be visible with the images we printed). 

You may have also downloaded additional 

profiles from the web site of your paper 

supplier (or even created your own profiles), 

For more details on the inspection, see our 
description on page 81. 

-> Never expect your prints to match your 

on-screen display if your monitor is not 

properly calibrated and profiled). 

5.10 Test Prints 

Having installed your printer, your printer driver and, optionally, a Photo- 
shop plug-in for 16-bit printing, and finally looked at your printer manufac- 
turer's Web page for updates for your printer driver and for ICC profiles for 
various papers and installed them,* it's a good time to perform a test print. 
For this you can use one of your own images - preferably one with a rich set 
of colors, and one where you know what the colors should look like. For a 
verification of your printer installation, new kind of inks, or a new paper, 
however, it's best to use special test images that show a variety of printer 
properties and limitations. 

In section 3.11 we named a few sources for these kinds of images and 
you will find our own test image at [79], that you can download for free. 
Resize the test image, if necessary, to fit your paper size and print it. Let it 
dry for about an hour before you do your close-up inspection. Then check 
for the following points:** 

► Possible casts in the gray ramps 

► Handling of strongly saturated colors 

► Skin tones 

► Shadow details 

If the print doesn't meet your expectations, check the following points: 

A. Is your monitor well calibrated and profiled? If, for example, your print 
is "only" too dark, your monitor is probably too bright. Does your 
monitor profiling include a proper calibration? If not - some entry- 
level packages do not provide this feature -, turn down the monitor's 
brightness, re-profile, and try again. With some newer LCD monitors 
we had to turn down brightness to about 15-20% of the maximum! 

B. Did you use the proper media setting in the print dialog? If your driver 
(or plug-in) doesn't offer the exact media type, try to find a close match 
- e.g., another paper having the same surface (gloss, semigloss, matte, 
canvas, . . . 

Downloaded from: 

5.11 Print Quality Related Issues 


C. Did you really use the right profile for your 
setting - matching the printer plus media plus 
quality setting? 

D. Did you soft-proof your image before printing? 
(See section 3.12 on soft-proofing.) 

If all points are checked, and your result is still off, run 
a head alignment and a nozzle check. If even this 
doesn't help, try another profile or perhaps another 
paper (using the proper profile for it). 

However, we do not advise you to tweak your 
image considerably in order to match the print and the 
on-screen preview - you'll have to do it for every image 
you print this way (again, assuming your monitor is 
correctly profiled). 

Finally, keep in mind, that the print will never match your preview 100 
percent - your monitor and your printer use quite different ways of repro- 
ducing colors. All a preview can achieve is a close match. 

Figure 5-52: Our own printer evaluation image, downloaded at [79]. 

5.1 1 Print Quality Related Issues 

Here is an additional short list of issues to be aware of: 

Drying time • Refrain from judging a print critically without giving it suf- 
ficient time to dry. A safe bet is 24 hours, but for most prints, three to four 
hours is enough. Likewise, never use prints in profiling without allowing 
enough drying time. 

Prints from some printers (e.g., HP) are especially delicate immediately 
after printing. Make certain you don't touch the surface of a print, and let 
it dry in a dust-free space. 

Inspecting your prints • Inspect your prints using standardized daylight, 
D50 (Daylight at 5,000 Kelvin), as all color management is based on this. 
For information on how to obtain such light, and for more details on image 
inspection and judgment, see section 8.1 Critical Image Inspection. 

Roller marks / pizza wheels • Sometimes you may encounter roller marks 
on a printed paper surface. There are many possible reasons. Check that the 
paper settings match the paper. Sometimes it is a good idea to consult 
printer- specific news groups to pick up ideas from experienced fellow users, 
maybe even things such as removing some printer wheels. 

Roller and transport • With our Epson R2400, we sometimes had prob- 
lems when printing on a heavy paper like the Hahnemuehle PhotoRag 308. 
The printer just refused to feed in the paper. After cleaning up the rollers 
using Epson Cleaning Sheets, everything worked fine again. 

Downloaded from: 


5 Fine Art Printers in Practical Use 

Epson does not recommend this method with the R2400! However, it 
helped and didn't cause any problems in our case. Another way might be 
to clear your rollers from dust using Q-tips or a soft white eraser, but with 
some printers it's quite hard to get there. Make sure you remove all rubber 
and dust from the printer after this cleaning! 

Banding • If you see banding, run a nozzle check and perform print head 
cleaning, if necessary. The next step is to check head alignment and realign 
the heads, if needed. If this doesn't help, check your paper settings and turn 
off high speed. When not using standard paper, setting your printer to cus- 
tom thickness may avoid banding. 

Dust spots • Using some cotton papers, you occasionally see small spots 
after a print dries. This can be caused by cotton dust and/or scuffing. The 
paper has dust or other loose cotton particles on its surface. The printer 
places ink on these areas. After printing, the particles fall off and you get 
white spots. Always gently brush cotton-based paper before feeding it into 
the printer. 

Water spots • Be careful not to get water on a picture. It is best to let it dry 
naturally. Trying to wipe the water off can smudge the print and/or leave a 

5.1 2 Some More Recommendations for Printing 

Though we have already mentioned some of the following recommenda- 
tions, we want to repeat some of them here: 

Print regularly • Inkjet inks tend to dry up fast and may clog up the noz- 
zles of your print heads. For this reason, you should use your inkjet print- 
ers regularly, e.g., once a week, or at least every two weeks. Nozzle clogging 
seems to be somewhat worse with the Epson printers, obviously due to the 
pigmented inks. If you really have no inkjet print to do, simply run a nozzle 
check with your printer. 

Check your inks and run a nozzle check before you start a large print. 

It is annoying if you spoil an expensive sheet of paper due to clogged noz- 
zles, or because there is not enough ink to complete your print. Therefore, 
it is well worth checking your inks/ If you have plenty of ink for your print 
and have not printed for some days, run a nozzle check, usually offered as 
part of the printer's maintenance utility (see page 136) to make sure that 
your nozzles are not clogged. Nozzle clogging may show as banding, or as 
color shifts or stripes in the print. 

Clean your paper before you print • Often, inkjet papers come with some 

paper dust on it. Therefore, you should clean the paper before inserting it 

One that is not used for anything else! into the printer. You may use a large cosmetic brush** or a small, soft broom. 

All of the printers we discuss here will show 
the status of all the inks. 

Downloaded from: 

5.12 Some More Recommendations for Printing 


This prevents the dust from clogging your print heads or your printer s rollers. 
It is also very annoying if tiny paper fragments stick to the paper when the 
print is done and fall off afterwards, exposing plain paper spots with no ink. 
Some papers are more susceptible to this problem than others. We had some 
experience with this phenomenon with Hahnemuehle papers (e.g., Photo 

Give your prints ample time to dry before touching and framing. 

Actually, you should never touch the printed area of your prints, at least not 
with your bare hands. Wear cotton gloves when handling your prints or 
printing papers. 

Cover up your printer when not in use with a dust cover • This avoids 
dust settling on and in your printer. 

Keep your spare inks cool. 

Keep your spare paper dark, dry, and cool, and store it horizontally. 

The best way is still to keep them in the original box the paper came in. Keep 
old paper boxes and use them for those papers that didn't come in a box 
(this might be the case if you buy in small quantities). These boxes are also 
good to store your final prints. 

Make sure your printer is correctly set up for your paper • With some 
printers, you have to set up your printer if you use thick paper. You may 
have to set this either within your printer driver, a lever on the printer, or 
you may have to use a special paper feed. 

Make sure you use the proper profile for your paper and your printer set- 
tings • As stated when describing how to produce a printer profile, the 
profile is specific not only to the printer, the inks used and the paper used, 
but also to the printer settings. Printer settings, e.g., print quality settings, 
should be reflected in the profile name. Make sure that you select a printer 
profile that closely corresponds to your settings in the printer driver. 

Make notes • Juergen uses a small booklet where he keeps notes on print- 
ers and papers. If you only have one fine art printer and always use the same 
two or three types of media, this may be exaggerated. If, however, you use 
different printers and try a number of different media, like we do, this is 
really useful. In this booklet he has a page or two for every paper type he 
experimented with. He makes notes on the proper media settings in the 
printer driver - e.g., which Epson media has to be set in the driver to get the 
best result for Hahnemuehle Photo Rag* -, or which Tone setting suited his 
on-screen preview best when using the "Advanced B&W Photo" mode with 
the Epson R2400 when using this mode for producing black-and-white 
prints (see section 7.3). He also adds notes on what to watch for when han- 
dling this media. With Photo Rag and German Etching by Hahnemuehle, 
for example, we always brush the paper with a soft broom before use. This 
prevents paper dust from clogging our print heads and transport wheels. 

* You can find this information on the 
Website of Hahnemuehle [92], it's tedious to 
look this up every time you use their paper. 

Downloaded from: 

Camera: Canon iDsX 

Downloaded from: 

Printing Packages and RIPs 

You may achieve excellent prints when printing from Photoshop 
or another color-management application using the standard 
printer driver of your operating system. In most cases, this 
printer driver is supplied by the printer manufacturer. The pro- 
cess for doing this is described in sections 5.5 to 5.12. 

In some cases, however, you may need additional options, e.g., 
when you not only want to print a single image, but also a DTP- 
builtpage with text, raster images, and line-art graphics. In other 
situations, you may look for greater control over printing settings 
than the standard printer driver provides, or you may want to 
use fine art papers that the driver does not support. In this case, a 
Raster Image Processor (RIP) may help. 

Downloaded from: 


6 Printing Packages and RIPs 

6.1 What is a RIP? 

In photo inkjet printers, this are usually 
6-12 different colored inks. 

HP has discontinued its software-based RIP 

and replaced it with an "EFI Designer Edition 

RIP" described in section 6.3. 

A RIP takes the input and, from it, produces a raster image that can be sent 
directly to a printer. It does all the color conversion, such as from RGB to the 
printer's primary colors/ the dithering, the required resolution adaptation, 
and more. It's what a standard printer driver does, and usually more, e.g., 
supports standard ICC profiles. There are two basic types of RIPs: 

► RIPs that only do rasterization of the input 

► RIPs that do additional print-language translation, e.g., from PostScript 
or PDF to the internal printer language 

For fine art printing, the first type of RIP is acceptable in most cases, and 
is often considerably cheaper. PostScript- and PDF-enabled RIPs make 
sense when you use the RIP for contract press-proofing. Using a PostScript 
printer, the second type of RIP is already integrated into your printer's 
hardware. This integrated RIP, however, may not provide all the features 
and controls offered with separate RIPs. 

Most RIPs are optional equipment; you must pay extra for them. Both 
HP and Epson offer separate software RIPs for some of their inkjet printers. 
There are many other RIPs offered by third-party companies which are 
frequently less expensive, more universal, and offer better quality or flexi- 
bility for a particular task like black-and-white printing. 

For instance providing network-printing, 

hot-folders, and different job queues for 

different job types. 

Such as special black-and-white profiles 
for printing, as well as soft-proofing. 

Why Use a RIP? 

Above, we have listed the main reasons for using a separate RIP: 

► More control over printing parameters 

► Support of high-level printer languages (often PostScript or PDF) 

A RIP also provides the following useful features: 

► Smoother workflow than printer drivers** 

► Better dithering and/or up -sizing algorithms 

► More control of ink lay- down 

► Additional ICC profiles for some fine art printers, third-party inks, or 
press printing 

► Support for profiling 

► Support for special third-party inks (often for black-and-white printing) 

► Optimized placement of several images on the same page 

► Special features for black-and-white printing*** 

► Special features for CMYK proofs (contract press-proofs) 

Not all of these features are provided by all RIPs, and not all features may be 
needed. For this reason, there is no single solution for all users. We will 
describe some of the RIPs we have used, and the particular features useful for 
our kind of work. 

Downloaded from: 

6.2 Printing Using a Printing Package 


6.2 Printing Using a Printing Package 

When direct-printing with the printer manufacturer's printer driver is not 
quite good enough, but a RIP is too expensive/ a printing package may be 
the answer. These printing packages are stand-alone applications that help 
to prepare an image for printing by calling up a printer driver and passing 
the image along for printing. They do no actual dithering (also called screen- 
ing), which a RIP or a printer driver can do. 

Nevertheless, printing packages may be helpful when doing printer- 
specific up-sizing or down-sizing of an image, and can even do some 
sharpening.** They also may replace Photoshop as the printing application, 
and do color management, rather than leaving it to the printer driver. 
These packages sometimes come with additional profiles, or aid in creating 
printer profiles. This software also features image placement, i.e., several 
images on a single output page. While we rarely use them for fine art prints, 
printing packages may be useful for test prints or for contact sheets. 

Often, these utilities offer additional image-enhancement operations. 
Qimage is one such a utility. As a rule, we don't use these features. According 
to our experience, good RAW converters plus Photoshop are usually supe- 
rior. There are other printing packages, but we have little or no experience 
with them. 

* Though there are some moderately priced 
RIPs around. 

** Additionally, they usually can save 
important print settings in a set of preset lists. 
For this purpose, they usually work better 
than most printer drivers or print dialogs of 
the operating system. 


Qimage by ddisoftware, Inc [83] is a low-priced image-printing package for 
Windows. It includes free lifetime updates and upgrades. For the budget- 
conscious artist, Qimage also offers a Lite version. According to our experi- 
ence, Qimage Lite is sufficient in most cases, although the price of the Pro 
version is reasonable enough for us to recommend purchasing the full ver- 

While no native Mac version is currently available, Qimage may now 
be run using Boot Camp that, paradoxically, runs Windows even faster 
than a Windows-based PC. Below is a list of features in Qimage we con- 
sider useful: 

► Supports a broad range of inkjet printers from HP, Epson, and Canon 

► Fully color managed; works with ICC profiles 

► Provides batch-processing of images (printing, scaling, format conver- 
sion, etc.)*** 

► Allows placing several images on one output page 

► Automatic image scaling for optimum prints. Offers several different 
scaling algorithms 

► Offers optional sharpening 

► Offers selective color correction and fine-tuning 

► Has an image-oriented browser for selecting files for printing 

Qimage Pro is priced about $50 and may be 
downloaded from the Internet. Qimage Lite 
costs about $39. 

*** You may for example, do batch printing 
as well as image scaling and format 
conversion in batch mode. Qimage also 
supports a number of RAW formats (but we 
don't print RAW files). 

Downloaded from: 


6 Printing Packages and RIPs 

^ There ore a number of features in 

Qimage that we do not use, for example 

image editing, RAW conversion, Flash Card 

import, RAW conversion, or import via TWAIN 


* Qimage knows the optimal image 

resolutions for the printers supported by the 

program and will up- or down-scale the 

image accordingly before passing them on to 

the actual printer driver. 

The user interface is somewhat outdated (but was updated in recent ver- 
sions) and requires a bit of learning, partly due to the large number of set- 
tings involved. This, however, provides a lot of flexibility. 

You may download a fully functional version of Qimage from the Web and 
test it for 30 days. If you purchase a license (via the Web), a license-key is 
sent by e-mail. Installation is simple: click on the installation file. Although 
there is little to set up, you should check if the monitor profile is correctly 
selected (Qimage accesses the Windows system default profile). 

Qimage is not actually a true RIP. Instead of doing its own dithering and 
color translation, it uses the manufacturer's printer driver for actual output 
to the printer. While this suggests limitations to the program, it supports a 
large number of printers. 

Qimage performs several important printing tasks: 

► It does up -sizing or down- sizing of the image to an optimal printer's 
native resolution.* It offers several different sizing algorithms, and is 
quite good at it 

► It does some sharpening (may be activated or deactivated) 

► It offers some helpful administration tasks such as saving and loading 
printer driver settings 

► It allows placing several images on one output page, which may be use- 
ful for producing contact sheets 

Figure 6-v. 

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folder browser open 

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Downloaded from: 

6.2 Printing Using a Printing Package 


After starting Qimage, browse to your image folder. Qimage will build up 
thumbnails and display all images in the folder in thumbnail view (see fig- 
ure 6-1). This may take a few minutes when accessing a folder with many 
images. Once in the proper folder, you may hide the Folder Browser/ 

Before starting the print, you should make three settings: 

1. Printer setup (click 3^ or File ► Printer/Page Setup). This brings up the 
standard print dialog box of your printer, in which you can make all 
settings. Qimage stores these settings and they can be saved under a 
special name. 

2. Page setup (page size, orienta- 
tion, borders, and so on) using 
the various options under Page 

3. Settings for interpolation and 
sharpening. For this click the Job 
Properties button - or even more 
detailed - use Edit ► Preferen- 
ces ► Printing Options (see fig- 
ure 6-2). 

* Click on the separation line between the 
folder and the thumbnail window. 

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f/'gi/re 6-2: Here you can adjust the interpolation and sharpening settings in Qimage Pro. 

Now select the interpolation method for up- and downsizing your image 
(figure 6-2). Qimage offers various methods and indicates their respective 
quality and speed (Qimage Lite 
shows a simplified dialog box). 

Additionally, check the color 
management settings accessed by 
choosing Edit ►Preferences ►Color 
Management (see figure 6-3) By 
default, Qimage uses the monitor 
profile set by the operating system. 
You can also define the working 
color space for the print. As men- 
tioned before, it is important to 
select the right printer profile. You 
also set the rendering intent here. 
For most profiles, Black point com- 
pensation should be activated. The 
settings you define here are just 
default settings. You may change 
them for a specific job - e.g., when 
printing on different paper, you have 
to select another printer profile. 


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6 Printing Packages and RIPs 

Job Properties *■ 

Mntr ICC 
Prtr ICC 

« SRGBIEC61 966-2.1 R?1 

9 SPR2400 PremiumSemigloss (P, BPC) (Tl! 





« Max-720 PPI T print 123 Info 

• High-360PPI T poster 3 Edges 

* Hybrid r^ 3q. Filter 
« 5 (Default) f^ ^ p. Filter 

|_ — _r __ .__ LJ __ ,u 

F/gi/re 6-4: The Job Properties are shown and can be 
modi tied here. 


R^W Borders: lF^ #"00~ j 

Figure 6-5: Drag your images onto the page preview icon. 

Figure 6-6: 

The Full Page Editor ofQimage allows 

to fine-tune the image on your page, 

including cropping, rotating and 

changing the placement on the page. 

This can be done in Job Properties. If the job properties are not 
visible, click the Job Properties button (see figure 6-4). You can also 
change your Print resolution, Interpolation and Sharpening set- 
tings. There are also options to add information about the file 
name or EXIF data of the print, add crop marks, guide lines, or 
even borders. 

To print an image, merely drag your image icon onto the empty 
page icon (figure 6-5). Alternatively, you may select the image 
thumbnail and click + (?J- calls up an image preview). 

When you select several images and click +, the images are 
automatically placed on the page at the image size currently selec- 
ted in the page window. As many images as possible are placed on 
a page, and additional pages/print jobs are created automatically 
as needed. You may delete individual images from a page or mod- 
ify their placement. You can also still scale any image in this pre- 
view using your mouse, change the placement, and delete images 
from the page, or an entire page from the job. You can also change 
the page orientation using the Q and ' ■ icons. 

If you want to fine-tune the layout of an image on the page, 
click on the 3 icon. Qimage will bring up its Full Page editor (see 
figure 6-6). In this editor you can crop and rotate the image and 
tune the layout and placement of the image. 

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Images printed with Qimage look more concise, which means they appear 
sharper than prints made from Photoshop. This may be attributed to the 
optimized scaling done by Qimage before the page is passed on to the print 
driver, as well as to the sharpening applied to the image (deactivate the 
sharpening feature if the image appears too sharp). The up-scaling algo- 
rithm that Qimage uses is good even for significant enlargements and can 
save you the cost of special scaling software. 

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6.3 Printing Using a RIP 


6.3 Printing Using a RIP 

As mentioned, there are a number of good RIPs for fine art printing on the 
market. We begin with a good, reasonably priced RIP, and later move on to 
RIPs focused on more professional-level press work (CMYK) proofing. 


Some personal history: We've known Roy Harrington for some years, meet- 
ing as members of the Gallery House. Roy is a passionate 4x5 black-and- 
white landscape photographer who has produced inkjet black-and-white 
prints for some time now. In Spring 2003, Roy bought our Epson 7500/* He 
began experimenting with different black-and-white quad-tone ink sets. 
Here, he was not alone. But, because Roy also knows programming inside 
and out, he began to write his own quad-tone driver for his inks and the 
7500. From this project evolved the new tool called QuadToneRIP. When 
Roy told us that he gets as good a result from standard Epson UltraChrome 
inks (Epson 2200/7600/9600) as from his own ink mix, we became curious, 
as we believe Roy understands digital black-and-white printing at a highly 
expert level. 

QuadToneRIP (QTR for short) is available for Mac OS X and Windows. 
On the Mac, QTR works like a printer driver. On Windows, it is actually a 
set of batch programs outputting through the standard Windows printer 
driver. Handling on Windows originally was not as smooth as with Mac 
OS X, but with version 2.3, it got a new front- end graphic user interface that 
makes handling (printing) with QTR easy and convenient. QTR is a share- 
ware program and, for $50, offers a lot for little money. You may download 
QTR from the Web and test it before you buy. 

QTR focuses on black-and-white printing. It does not offer PostScript 
support, but only TIFF (uncompressed or LZW), making it small and sim- 
ple. You may also output color images, however, they are automatically con- 
verted to black-and-white. 

QTR supports a number of Epson printers, desktop and large-format, 
with several different ink- sets, e.g., UltraChrome, UltraChrome K3, Neutral 
K7, QuadBlack, and Ultratone. The package includes additional tools for 
ICC black-and-white profiling, as it is not easy using standard ICC tools. 
For black-and-white profiling, however, you need a spectrophotometer. 
There are also tools that allow you to produce your own tone curves for 
black-and-white printing. 

At about $50, the QTR package is very reasonably priced and, in our 
opinion, well worth the money. 

** We have now upgraded our printing 
equipment to the Epson 7600. 

You have to download the QuadToneRIP 
from the Internet at: 

-> A quite useful feature of the QTR package 
is a supporting application that allows you 
to produce black-and-white profiles that may 
be used for black-and-white soft-proofing 
and printing using "Let Photoshop Determine 
Colors" For more on this, see section 7.5 at 
page 196. 

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6 Printing Packages and RIPs 

Installation on Mac OS X 

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Figure 6-7: Select 'QuadToneRIP'from the 'Print Using' list 
and choose your printer model 

QTR comes with an installation script making installation quick 
and easy. On Mac OS X, you must be sure that GIMP Print is 
installed before installing QTR. If it is not, you may simply 
install it from your Mac OS installation disk, using Optional 
Installs. mpkg. (With current versions of Mac OS X, e.g., 10.4 or 
10.5, GIMP Print will be installed by default.) When you reach 
Custom Install, select Printer Drivers, and check Gimp Printer 

The QTR install script will install the RIP. Next, you must 
install the ICC profiles for your printer. These profiles come 
with the package. 

The driver will not show up immediately in your printer list. 
First you must add M a new printer using your Mac Printer 
Setup Utility (p^). Within the utility, select the printer (already 
installed and online) you want to use for your black-and-white 
printing using QTR, and use QuadToneRIP from the Print Using 
list. Additionally, select your printer model from the drop-down 
list (see figure 6-7). 

That does it. From now on, you may use QTR like a regular 
printer when printing from an application, e.g., Photoshop. 



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F/gi/re 6-8: F/rsf select your Dither Algorithm, then select your media type. 

Printing with QTR under Mac OS X 

We use Photoshop as our printing application (selecting Print with Preview) 
and leave color management to the printer (see section 5.3 at page 137). If 
however, we have a black-and-white profile for our printer (+ paper + inkset 
+ driver settings combination), we will use Let Photoshop Determine Colors. 

In the setup of the printer 
driver, first select Printer features 
and then select your media type 
and Dither Algorithm (which we 
leave at Ordered, see figure 6-8). 
For our Epson R2400, QTR not 
only offers Epson papers, but sev- 
eral others: Ilford Heavy, Transpa- 
rencies, and Glossy Film. 

While in driver settings, go to 
tab QuadToneRIP (see figure 6-9). 
Here, you do your setup for black- 
and-white prints. Curve 1 and Curve 2 boxes determine your ink+paper 
profile (including your color hue). There are curves for a cool color, as well 
as curves for a warm color. You may mix this color hue via the Tone Blend 
drop-down list. A 50-50 blend, as in figure 6-9, will result in a neutral tone. 
Ink Limit Adj and Gamma Adj give still more control of the print. A higher 


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Downloaded from: 

6.3 Printing Using a RIP 


or lower Gamma value will darken or lighten 
an image in the print, without requiring 
editing of your original image. 

Printing with QTR under Windows 

With Windows, QTR does not run as a 
driver. Since QTR 2.3, however, there is a 
convenient front- end application called 
QuadToneRIP Graphical Interface (QTR 
GUI). It will be installed in your Windows 
Quick Start list. If you want to generate your 
own curves, e.g., for new inks or papers, you 
would also install the Curve Creator. 

QTR offers a Monitor folder (a Hot 
folder). When you drop an image into this 
folder, it will be printed by QTR automa- 

To print an image the simplest way, call up 
QTR GUI and do your initial setup (see fig- 
ure 6-10). Then select the image you want to 
print (Imager Select Image) and set the 
scaling (if necessary). QTR can only print 
TIFFs that are Grayscale or RGB, uncom- 
pressed or LZW. Sixteen-bit TIFFs will be 
internally converted to 8-bit. In most cases, 
this is no real restriction in fine art printing. 
The program takes most versions of TIFFs 
produced in Photoshop. 

QTR has good black-and-white profiling and 
linearization, although its manual is a bit 
weak. For more details on profiling, linear- 
ization, and curves adaptation, see the vari- 
ous QTR tutorials and help files. 

Additionally, the QTR package includes 
a utility to generate a black-and-white ICC 
profile that can be used for black-and-white 
conversion (e.g., in Photoshop or Light- 
room). This profile works well for soft- 
proofing grayscale and black-and-white RGB 
images. Finally, it can be used to print an 
RGB image directly from Photoshop (or any 
other good printing application), where you 
leave the color conversion to Photoshop (see 
section 7.5 for more detail). 



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Figure 6-9: You do your actual setup for the black-and-white print under the tab 

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Downloaded from: 


6 Printing Packages and RIPs 

ImagePrint does not use any part of the 
printer manufacturer's drivers. 

ImagePrint by Colorbyte Software 

ImagePrint by ColorByte ([82] ♦*, &,) is a very popular RIP for fine art 
photographers. The main benefits of ImagePrint are: 

► Excellent print quality* 

► 16 -bit capability 

► Very good profiles for many papers are included, as well as profiles for 
different lighting conditions. This is important, as creating good pro- 
files can be quite time consuming 

► Very good black-and-white printing, with very low levels of metamerism 

► Easy to use, compared to other RIPs 


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Figure 6-11: ImagePrint user interface 

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We have used ImagePrint for the Epson 7600/2200 and also for the HP 
DesignJet 90, and have been very pleased with the results. Like most RIPs, 
ImagePrint allows you to select one or more images (for fine art you will 
usually print one image at a time), position it on the paper template, resize, 
and finally print. 

Downloaded from: 

6.3 Printing Using a RIP 


Color Management with ImagePrint 

ImagePrint is fully color-managed, yet it also provides extra control over 
printing. Here we will cover the basics, as far as we use them ourselves. You 
may also make image corrections in ImagePrint, but we prefer performing 
these operations in Photoshop. 



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Color Management strategy 

We want ImagePrint to notify us about the embedded profile, and use 
mainly Relative Colorimetric rendering intent for color images. For gray- 
scale images, we use the Perceptual rendering intent. 

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Figure 6-13: 
Output options 

The key property is the profile for the paper. ImagePrint has two different 
kinds of profiles: 

► Color profiles for different papers and viewing light conditions (often 
five variations). The user can also create new profiles. 

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6 Printing Packages and RIPs 

► Grayscale profiles for black-and-white printing on various papers. 
These profiles can only be created by ColorByte. 

In special cases, you can have a black-and-white profile plus a color profile 
to use the colorizing feature, although we have no hands-on experience with 

The Adjust Black Point slider is important, as you can define the level 
of black definition for your prints. We did tests, found a good setting, and 
left it at that level for subsequent prints. The simulation tab is set to "None" 
because we are not simulating any other target printers. 

For black-and-white prints, ImagePrint features a powerful tint control: 

Figure 6-14: 
You may select different tints for Shadows and 



We use the same tint for the entire image, but ImagePrint allows so-called 
split toning, where the shadow part of an image receives a different tone than 
the highlight part. Using the slider Tint Blend, you can also control where 
the split should be for a particular print. 

For the HP DesignJet 30/90/130 printers, ImagePrint also supports in- 
printer color calibration (these printers have their own density sensors): 

Figure 6-15: 
The Calibrate dialog 

Printer Specific Options 


Media Type- 

| Premium Photo Paper 


Calibration — 


FINISH BEFORE CALIBRATING. Select Quality from the setup dialog 

and Media Type here and then press the Calibrate button. The 

calibration process is automatic and should take a few minutes to 


Calibrated Fri Jul 22 03:04:42 2005 Calibrate 

|~~ Center Margins 


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6.3 Printing Using a RIP 


EFI Designer Edition 

EFI [84] is well known for its PostScript RIPs (called Fiery print controllers) 
for color laser printers. EFI Designer Edition is a software RIP/ Running 
under Windows (2000, XP, and Vista), as well as Mac OS X, it is suited not 
only for fine art printing, but also produces highly reliable proofs of images 
for press printing. It provides an Ugra/Fogra Media Strip (a color- controlling 
tool well established in Europe's press industry). It includes several profiles 
for this kind of proofing and for a multitude of different papers mainly for 
professional inkjet printers from Epson, HP, Canon, Encad, and Roland 
(and others. It offers Adobe PostScript 3 compatibility, as well as PDF and 
tagged TIFF (RGB, CMYK, and Lab). 

EFI may be installed as a virtual printer driver and thus used by any 
application on your system. It also supports "hot folders." When you drop 
an image (PostScript or PDF file) onto its hot folder, the image is added to 
the print queue and processed according to the rules defined for that folder. 
Thus, the virtual printer may also be used in a network if the folder can be 
shared. It is fully color managed and provides extended profile options. 
You may add linearization files to profiles. Additional tools help build lin- 
earization files and build connection profiles (these are combined profiles 
allowing simulation of the printing behavior of device B on device A). 

With a price tag of about $650, EFI Designer Edition definitely is not a 
throwaway application but still reasonably priced. 

EFI Designer Edition (EFI-DE for short) offers three different printing 

► Proof (simulating a press print on your inkjet printer) 

► Photo print (very much like printing from Photoshop, but with the 
additional advantage of batch/spool processing) 

► Black-and-white print (converting an image to black-and-white on the 


You may also export a job (rendered as TIFF). 

EFI-DE comes with a good installation script, so installation may be com- 
pleted in a few minutes. We had to update this version online (just another 
click) to get support for our Epson R2400. 

To setup the RIP, select Preferences ( ) and set the parameters for: 

► Printer settings 

► Paper profiles settings 

► Color (including color output mode. Photo for fine art printing) 

► Output. Here, you define the RIP's resolution and what kind of addi- 
tional control information should be included for the print. 

* EFI offers several versions of the EFI Designer 
Edition described here. Their main difference 
is the maximum print size (related to printers) 
you may use: version M (printers up to A2), 
version XL (printers up to 24"), 
version XXL (printers up to 60"). 
If you only want to print photos (images), you 
may go for "EFI Photo Edition", which is a bit 
less expensive. 

-> HP offers the EFI Designer Edition as an 
optional RIP for its lines of professional printers. 

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6 Printing Packages and RIPs 

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f/'gi/re 6-76: 
Color setup for your printer 

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Additionally, using the tab General, set up the location where your hot 
folder will be and where exported and preview images should go. 



Add Nesting Delete 


Print Preview Export Stop 

1 m 

Preferences Linearize 

# Name 

Size Date & Time 



7 EuJeJtainer_Nlkon_DlDOJpq 1,1MB 16/11/05 17:32 Ready juergen 

8 350d_0OQ0_O9O2_Near5onora 9,9 MB 13/10/05 13:12 Ready juergen 

9 Nusse-Hutternarm_A3.tif 12,8 MB 08/10^05 12:28 Ready juergen 

10 350d_0O00_155e_SJ_Masonicl 3,5 MB 13/10/05 12:58 Ready juergen 

11 Ottawa- be i _Nacht.jpg 1,1MB 08/10^05 17:23 Ready jyergen 

# • Name 

Size Date & Time 


: Author 



System halted 



Figure 6-17: Job list ofEFI Designer Edition. 

- Individual Job Settings - 
•■' Info Output I Color i Print ' - 

^ Activate Color Management 
Paper name: 
[ Ef I Proof Paper 9190 Matt (Ultr< 1$) 

Print resolution (dpi): 

1440 x 720 \-f\ 

Color settings 

* ) 



Profife name: 

ISOn e wspaper3 0v4_g r J cc 


Rendering intent: 

Relative colarimetric (no paper 


^ Use embedded profiles 
^ Black Point Compensation 
U Solid black: 0.0% ] 

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6.3 Printing Using a RIP 


For fine art printing, we prefer using drag-and-drop, dragging the image file 
onto the open job list. Selecting a job and clicking ^ will show the details 
(right palette of figure 6-17). Here, you may still change some of the job 
parameters (as long as printing has not started). 

EFI-DE does an acceptable job in fine art printing; you may even improve 
profiles by building a linearization file for a printer and paper using the Ink 
Assistant •J'. Here, you adapt gamma and individual ink curves, but only 
for CMYK inks. You may also build custom ICC profiles. EFI-DE offers a 
pass-through option for printing a target and allows importing the new pro- 
file (you still need a separate profiling package). However, apart from color 
management (which is important), there is no special support for fine art 
printing, though for test prints the nesting feature comes in handy. 

The program's real strength lies in doing a proof before sending your 
files to a printer for press printing. If your image is part of a DTP docu- 
ment, PostScript and PDF support are quite important. The Ugra/Fogra 
media-wedge is another plus for these types of jobs. If bought separately, it 
makes up about half the price of the EFI-DE package. 

ll I 


In Europe, this may be used to verify the color/print quality of a press print. 
You may also proof using spot colors, and there is a Color Editor to define 
additional spot colors. For press proofs, the virtual printer driver is conve- 
nient, as you may print from any DTP application to a (supported) non- 
PostScript inkjet printer. 

Figure 6-18: 

Ugro/Fogro Media-Wedge may be used as a 

control strip for printed colors. 

Downloaded from: 

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTD (infrared modification) 

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Black- and- White Prints 

Even while all digital cameras originally capture the image 
in color, black-and-white printing still has its charm and 
followers and many of those, who loved traditional black- 
and-white in the traditional wet darkroom, will be looking 
for digital black-and-white prints as well. 

The charm of black- and- white prints comes from its 
abstraction, from its strong graphic impression, from the 
reduction of the image to the essential. 

It may seem very easy to print in black-and-white 
- even easier than in color. But that is not the case. For 
good black-and-white prints you will have to do a good 
color to black-and-white conversion -just changing the 
color mode wont do the trick. Then you need to use the 
right print modes to achieve a neutral or tinted print. There 
are also some considerations when selecting a printer suited 
for optimal black-and-white prints. We will deal with all 
these issues in this chapter. 

Downloaded from: 

184 7 Black-and-White Prints 

7.1 Workflow for Black-and-White Prints 

At first glance, printing black-and-white seems easier than color. Unfortu- 
nately, this is not the case. The main reasons are: 

► Fine tonal gradations in B&W prints are more important 

► Unwanted color casts 

► Toning of the prints 

► Metamerism (one of the major problems of black-and-white inkjet prints) 

► Excellent black levels are difficult to achieve 

The Basic Workflow Steps in our Black-and-White Workflow 

The workflow for black-and-white prints does not much differ from that for 
color. These are the steps: 

1. Prepare and tune your original image - in most cases a color photo - as 
described in chapter 4. 

2. Convert your image to black-and-white (as described in section 7.2). 

3. Fine-tune your black-and-white photography. 

Even if you have optimized your basic (usually color) image before con- 
verting it to black-and-white, in most cases you will still have to do 
some more tweaking after the conversion, e.g., in order to achieve better 
contrast, or to selectively emphasize certain areas, transitions, or gradi- 
ents. Again, you can use the techniques demonstrated in chapter 4. 

4. Print your image (as described in section 7.3). 

Some leave the converted black-and-white image in RGB color mode, while 
others convert files into grayscale images. There are advantages to both 
solutions: Converting an RGB image to black-and-white will reduce the file 
size to about Vs. Staying with RGB allows you to keep the black-and-white 
version as a simple layer (or layer group) on top of the original image and 
As described in chapter 5. thus allows you to stick with the standard RGB printing workflow* if you 
have a suitable printer and a good gray-neutral RGB profile for your combi- 
nation of printer, paper, and ink. 

If you intend to send your black-and-white image to a printing service 
for direct photo printing - from whom you will get a reasonable, but not the 
best result - the safer way is to convert your image to Grayscale. If you are 
using a high-end printing service, ask them for advice. (If they don't have an 
answer to this question, look for another service). 

Tonality is everything in a good black-and-white print. Some may prefer a 
stark contrast, while others search for ultra- smooth gradations and open 

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7.1 Workflow for Black-and-White Prints 


One of the major issues in black-and-white printing is how to produce 
a good soft-proof. Until recently, it was quite a hassle to find a decent solu- 
tion. The problem with soft-proofing black-and-white images lies in the 
fact that there are hardly any black-and-white profiles around (standard 
profiling packages create color profiles). Fortunately, Roy Harrington 
(creator of QuadToneRIP [86]) offers a solution (see section 6.3 and 7.5). 

There are three basic methods for color mapping (here, actually, it is the 
tonal mapping) when producing black-and-white prints: 

A. Using a printer that provides a dedicated black-and-white printing 

This is true for most up-to-date fine art printers that have more than 
two tints of black/gray inks. Most of the printers we recommend fulfill 
this requirement. On their black-and-white printing mode, these print- 
ers will predominantly use their black and gray inks and use only very 
little yellow, light magenta, as well as some light cyan. The results are 
very neutral prints - if that is what you want. This mode usually also 
allows for some slight toning - e.g., sepia. 

B. Using a RIP suited for fine art printing 

This class of RIPs usually can produce very neutral black-and-white 
prints, often even if the print has only one or two tints of black inks. 
They also will produce the best results when your printer is stuffed with 
several black-/gray-only inks, and can give very good results also when 
using only one or two versions of black inks (standard profiles usually 
can't deal with this). This will cause some additional costs for the RIP/ 
Additionally, you will need an ICC profile suited for the RIP, as standard 
profiles that are supplied by the manufacturers of the printer or a spe- 
cific paper can't be used. (Remember: A profile is specific for the com- 
bination of paper + printer + driver - in this case the RIP). 

C. Using a standard, but good, gray-balanced RGB (color) profile . . . 

... for a printer that comes originally equipped with several tints of black 
inks. Profiles have became better in recent years, and up-to-date fine 
art printers can nowadays create quite neutral black-and-white prints 
even when used in the standard color print mode.** 

For this method you simply use the printing procedure described in 
section 5.5, letting your application do the color mapping (e.g., use Let 
Photoshop Determine Colors). 

In any case, the very first step in achieving a good black-and-white print is 
always to start with a good black-and-white image. Your image should have 
all the attributes that make a black-and-white print interesting: strong 
abstraction, a clear structure (meaning the omission of elements that do not 
contribute to the message of the picture), and a rich set of tonal values, 
which can also be found in low-key or high-key images. 

* Though there ore some moderately priced 
RIPs around. 

** We used this method, for instance, when 
testing some of the new Baryt papers, making 
use of the standard profiles provided by the 
paper manufacturers supplied on their web 
page for some Epson, Canon and HP fine art 

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7 Black-and-White Prints 

7.2 From Color to Black-and-White 

See [12] and [13]. 

Finally, switch back to either Grayscale or 
RGB mode for fine-tuning and printing. 

The conversion methods in Adobe Camera 

Raw and Lightroom are very similar to that 

of the Photoshop function Black and White, 

described on page 188" 

Another possible way is to use the Tint 

function of the Black & White function of 

Photoshop CS3. 

There are nearly as many ways to convert a color image to black-and-white 
as there are avenues leading to Rome. Some newer digital cameras even shoot 
in black-and-white. We do not recommend it, as a computer-based conver- 
sion will give you more control. You may also convert your color image to 
black-and-white either in your RAW converter, as described in our e-books* 
or in Photoshop. When you convert using Photoshop, simply converting 
from RGB to Grayscale (Image ►Mode ►Grayscale) in most cases does not 
achieve optimal results. Here are some common ways that in most cases 
lead to better results: 

A. Switch to Lab color mode (e.g., in Photoshop: Mode ► Lab Color) and 
delete the a and the b channel, only retaining the L channel (contain- 
ing all the lightness values of the image)/* 

B. Use the Photoshop Channel Mixer (as described later) 

C. Use the Black & White function (available since Photoshop CS3) 

D. Use one of those numerous dedicated Photoshop plug-ins for black- 
and-white conversion, e.g., B/W Conversion (which is part of Nik Color 
Efex [55]), B & W Studio by PowerRetouche [59], or some of the Exposure 
2 filters by Alien Skin [36]. 

E. When shooting in RAW, you can also use the black-and-white conver- 
sion features of most current RAW converters, e.g., found in Adobe 
Camera Raw since version 4.0, in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Apple 
Aperture, Bibble (by Bibble Labs), Capture One (by Phase One), 
Light Zone (by Light Crafts), Nikon Capture NX, Raw Developer (by 
Iridient Digital), Silkypix Developer Studio (by Ichikawa Soft 
Laboratory), and many more. Light Zone, for instance, has more fea- 
tures for fine-tuning the tonality of the image - be it black-and-white 
or in color. Therefore, we use it quite often for this purpose. 

Which of theses methods works best for you depends on your image, your 
budget, and on what exactly you want to achieve. B & W Studio and TIFFEN 
Ffx, for instance, allow you to bring back some the characteristics of analog 
film to your image by simulating film grain and the color sensitivities of 
specific black-and-white films. 

With most of the methods mentioned above, your image will still be 
an RGB image that you may either retain in RGB or convert to Grayscale 
- now without any visible loss of contrast and tonality. 

If you want a tinted print you can either tint your RGB image - for 
instance using the Split Toning function of Lightroom - or you can leave 
your image in a neutral black-and-white and tint your image in your print- 
ing process, using the possibilities of the driver or the RIP. The latter 
method can also be used when printing Grayscale mode photos. 

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7.2 From Color to Black-and-White 


Black-and-White Conversion Using the Channel Mixer 

While a simple RGB to Grayscale conversion is very 
easy and fast, a better way is to use the Channel Mixer of 

1. Activate your Channels Palette and determine 
which of the RGB channels carries the most infor- 
mation (don't look at the channel icons; examine 
your image and deactivate the RGB channel first). 
Look for the best contrast, the best details, the 
most impressive single channel image. In our 
example of figure 7-1, it is Red and Green, which 
often is the case (see figure 7-2). 

2. Create a new Channel Mixer adjustment layer 
(Layer ► New Adjustment Layer ► Channel Mixer). 

Figure 7-1: Original color Image 

lam 1 

Jl'* <"*- ^\ 


*|4"*» o*»* J 

>|Plm 4**1 ^j 

Enable option Monochrome (see fig- 
ure 7-3) and start pushing the slider 
of your most important color (chan- 
nel) slowly to the right. You may now 
mix your three channels. The sum of 
all three should add up to 100 %. Basic 
values of Red = 60 %, Green = 40 % 

and Blue = o % will give you a good start. In many cases, no 
further adjustment is necessary (We extracted these values 
from Clayton Jones' paper on black-and-white conversion). 

This technique involves a bit of trial and error. You may 
even set a channel slider to a negative value. Carefully check 
your image while adjusting the sliders. 

Figure 7-2: Look for the channels with the most information 



*nrrr rt tm 






1 w-J 

Figure 7-3: 

Tune your channel sliders until the image looks 


If the image looks good, click OK. Though the image now looks black- 
and-white, it is still in RGB, which has some advantages for further 

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7 Black-and-White Prints 

Figure 7-4: My original image of the eagle. 


I bill C**iriM Hue ■«■#- 


htUEilri Omin V 


f/'gi/re 7-5.' Predefined Photoshop Preset 
options for the Black & White conversion 

Figure 7-6: 

Image of the eagle after black-and-white 

conversion using the Photoshop default 


5. You may still apply additional fine-tuning, e. g., using Levels and Curves. 
We recommend using adjustment layers for this! Fine-tuning a black- 
and-white image is a bit different than color, but the same tools may be 

Using "Black & White" of Photoshop CS3 

A new conversion function called Black & White was introduced with 
Photoshop CS3. Like Channel Mixer it can be used as an adjustment layer. 
While the Channel Mixer only provides three main sliders Black & White 
allows you to tune your black-and-white image using six sliders, thus pro- 
viding finer control. Additionally, the dialog comes with a number a pre- 
defined settings that emulate different color filters already familiar from 
analog photography. 

We started out with the color version of an eagle that can bee seen in 
figure 7-4. This image already is the result of some tuning and twitching of 
the original image. Black & White can be used as an adjustment layer, as 
create a new adjustment layer (Image ►New Adjustment Layer ►Black & 
White). Figure y-6 shows the result of the default settings of this function. 
The result is reasonable, but can still be improved. One way would be to try 
the various predefined filters that are offered in the Presets drop -down-list 
(see figure 7-5). (You can add your own filters here by saving some settings 
using Save Preset that you will find by clicking on the Ijfvj icon). 




ftlMI ***** 




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■ |m~|i 


- en , 

| Mm 


L M 

1 1. 

With your Black & White dialog still opened, a better way is to click with 
your mouse in an area of the image that should be changed (brightened or 
dimmed). The mouse cursor will look like an eye dropper Jf. This will acti- 
vate the slider that will control the dominant color of this area (actually, the 
underlying colored image). For the image of this example, we brightened up 
the background at the top a bit (by pushing the slider for Reds to the right), 
pushed Yellows up a bit, reduced Cyans and finally arrived at the image and 
settings that are demonstrated in y-y. 

Downloaded from: 

7.3 Printers with Black-and-White-Enabled Drivers 



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F/gi/re 7-7.' My final image of the eagle and the settings in Black and White. I could have added some tinting using Hue and Saturation. 

7.3 Printers with Black-and-White-Enabled Drivers 


In the past, the key issue with most inkjet printers was that they only feature 
one black, which left two options: 

► This will get you very grainy-looking black-and-white prints with few 
good highlights. 

► Using all colors to print black-and-white: potentially introduces various 
color casts and also can create strong metamerism. Prints look greenish 
outdoors and/or can have a magenta cast under fluorescent light. 

The previous generation of Epson UltraChrome™ printers" featured at least 
two blacks. With these printers, you could get good black-and-white prints 
using the ImagePrint RIP. Using just the Epson drivers would still result in 
prints that show quite a bit of metamerism** and bronzing. 

There were some third-party ink sets on the market that could trans- 
form your inkjet printer into a pure black-and-white machine. Well known 
are the Piezography inks by Jon Cone, but there have been some issues with 
ink clogging in the past. 

In 2004, we saw the first off-the-shelf printers from HP, e.g., the Photo- 
smart 8450, which featured color printing with an additional (or optional) 
three shades of black inks. In 2005, HP launched the PhotoSmart 8750, an 
improved and larger version of the 8450, and from Epson the new Ultra- 
Chrome™ K3 ink sets (where K3 stands for the three blacks). Now, for the 

* Epson Stylus Pro 2200, 4000, 7600, 9600 
** Meaning a slight green color cast with 
daylight and/or a slight magenta color cast 
with fluorescent lighting. 

Note: In fact, the lighter blacks 
are very important in these 
printers, as they produce 
smoother results in building up 
darker tones, and adding more 
lighter blacks than lighter tones 
with sparse darker blacks. 

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7 Black-and-White Prints 

* The HP 89180 and B8850 printers use only 
two black/gray inks, and are therefore not 
the best choice for high-quality black-and 

white printing. They do, however, yield good 

results when used with >HP Premium Satin 

Photo Pa pei x 

first time, we were able to create quite amazing black-and-white and color 
prints on the same inkjet printer. For a long time only the Epson printers 
covered the range from 17" up to 44" printers, while HP was limited to 13" 
for printers with three blacks. 

That changed in 2006, when Hewlett Packard as well as Canon intro- 
duced new printer lines that use pigmented inks and three or more varia- 
tions of black inks. In 2007, both HP and Canon improved the recipes of 
their inks and removed most of the weak points of the first generation of 
pigmented inks. This improved (or eliminated) some bronzing and 
metamerism effects that could be encountered with their first generation 
of pigmented inks. With the availability of these new printers, we recom- 
mend buying only those printers for high-end black-and-white printing 
that use pigmented inks and have several different black inks: Photo Black 
and Matte Black - only one of these will be used in a single print -, Light 
Black (some manufacturers call this Gray) and Light-Light Black (also 
called Light Gray). 

Here are some options for good black-and-white printing: 

► Epson 2200, 4000, 7600, 9600 with ImagePrint or QuadToneRIP 

► Custom third-party ink sets or even homemade diluted inks with third- 
party RIPs (like StudioPrint or QuadToneRIP). We know photographers 
that use up to seven inks. Many use the classic Epson 2000, 7500 or 
9500 printers. 

► Epson R2400, 2880, 3800, 4800/4880, 7800/7880, 7900, 9800/9980, 
9900 and 11880 

► HP PhotoSmart Pro B9180,* B8850, Z3100, Z3200 

► Canon iPF6ioo, iPF8ioo, iPF9ioo 

More on the handling of these printers can be found in chapter 5 and appen- 
dix A. 

We do not cover in depth the use of custom and third-party inks in this 
book. You are better off checking out specialized forums on the net. We 
discuss solutions that work off the shelf and additionally allow you to print 
color and black-and-white using the same printer. 

Again, some new printers feature three or more black inks and produce very 
good black-and-white prints. Most of these printers offer a dedicated black- 
and-white print mode in their drivers. A reliable way to achieve good black- 
and-white prints with these printers is by using just this dedicated mode. 

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7.3 Printers with Black-and-White-Enabled Drivers 


Black-and-White Prints with Epson UltraChrome K3 Printers 

We show these principles with the Epson R2400 driver dialogs. We under- 
stand the other printers are virtually the same. 

Again, we use Photoshop CS2 as |Q3 
a printing application. (For the dia- 
log of Photoshop CS3 see figure 7-8) 
We open the image and select File ► 
Print with Preview." This means that 
the printer driver will do color con- 
version and tonal mapping. This is 
reasonable only when the driver 
offers a special black-and-white mode. 
When producing color prints, we use 
the Photoshop Color Handling set- 
ting Let Photoshop Determine Colors 
(see section 5.5, page 143); for black- 
and-white prints, we usually use Let 
Printer Determine Colors to do the 
color management: 




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Mar ifcglflE|L*W Bill llMfrl 


With CS3 the Photoshop Print dialog 
changed a bit. For instance there is no 
longer Print with Preview, but only 
Print. (This is by no means a disad- 
vantage.) Also, more elements are 
now gathered in one single dialog, 
which facilitates the print setup (see figure 7-9). 

"3 & 




Figure 7-8: With black-and-white-enabled drivers, let the printer driver do the color 

[eHONtt*iBCta._ *J 

3 ■ 




Can fl 



I ft: A*u l ■■■ j- "! ^ 




F/gi/re 7-9: 

Settings in Photoshop CS3 (only showing 
the relevant parts) when printing with a 
black-and-white enabled printer driver. We 
recommend to set the Rendering Intent to 
"Relative Col ori metric". 

The rest of the workflow is the same as that with Photoshop CSi or CS2. 

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7 Black-and-White Prints 



t*+* | 


Set Color Management to Advanced B&W Photo. There 
are four standard options available: Neutral, Cool, Warm 
and Sepia. It is best to start with Neutral. We liked the 
results very much. If you want to fine-tune toning and set- 
tings, click the Settings button to open the Advanced B&W 
Photo dialog. 

Aside from the actual toning, you may first want to 
set a tone (e.g., "shadow brightness") you like (see figure 
7-12 and 7-11). 

We found the default Tone setting of Darker too dark, 
and changed our selection to Dark or even Normal. 

Figure 7-11: 
Tone settings 

Be very careful using toning that is too strong, as you may 
Figure 7-10: Printing in black-and-white with the Epson R2400 driver get into a zone in which prints may show some metamer- 
If you use the Color Management selection Advanced B&W Photo for 
the K3 printers, you should not handle color management in Photoshop, 
but leave it to the printer. You have to gain your own experience in how the 
image on the screen is related to the print in terms of tonality, as this work- 
flow is not really color managed. We assume that the driver treats a photo 
as a grayscale image, and then performs its toning. Later in this chapter, we 
have a note on soft-proofing black-and-white prints. 

Figure 7-12: 
R2400 "Advanced B&W Photo" dialog 

Downloaded from: 

7.3 Printers with Black-and-White-Enabled Drivers 


Making Black-and-White Prints using the HP DesignJet Z3100 

,->-.! . -!,-iii ..-4*. l-rwj „_ m iv.-.-i.,, 

Both the HP Z3100 and its successor, the Z3200, are excellent machines for 
making black-and-white prints. Like the Epson printers mentioned, both 
printers use three (or even four) black and gray inks. Here, Photo Black and 
Matte Black can be installed simultaneously, and some media make use of 
both inks. Additionally, both printers have an optional gloss optimizer, 
which allows you to reduce the difference in gloss between areas that are 
heavily inked and those where little or no ink is used. 

For printing in the special black-and-white printing mode, we use the 
same Photoshop settings that we used for black-and-white prints made 
with the Epson printer. Assuming the image is already converted to black- 
and-white (but is still in RGB color mode), we select Printer Manages Colors 
in the Photoshop print dialog (see figure 7-8 or figure 7-9 for CS3). We then 
select the media type, size, and orientation, and all the other media and 
quality settings mentioned previously. 

We then activate the Color tab to 
make our specific settings for black-and- 
white mode (see figure 7-13). Here, we 
activate option ® Print in Grayscale, then 
we select option ® Printer managed col- 
ors. In menu ©, we select the color profile 
of our source image (although the driver 
only offers a choice of Adobe RGB (1998) 
or sRGB). Finally, we activate Advanced 
color adjustment ©. 

We now click Settings (D to see the 
color adjustments dialog (see figure 7-14 
on page 194). This dialog allows you to 
fine-tune the tint of your black-and-white 
print, and even allows the use of different 
tints for highlights, midtones, and shad- 
ows. If you intend to use differing tints, 
you have to activate option ® in the dia- 
log shown in figure 7-14. This dialog also 
includes a gamma slider (in this case, 
called Lightness). 

Finally, click on OK to return to the main dialog. If you haven't already, 
you should now save your black-and-white print settings as a preset. 

The settings we have demonstrated for the Z3100 and Z3200 printers also 
work - with minor variations - for the HP B9180 and B8850 printers.* These 
models both produce excellent black-and-white prints, especially when 
used in conjunction with "HP Professional Satin" paper. 





J "* 


Figure 7-13: Fhese are the settings we recommended if you intend to use the HPz32oo's 
printer driver in black-and-white mode. 

See also the description on page 249. 

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7 Black-and-White Prints 

■ Tlxl 

Figure 7-14: 

This is the dialog for fine-tuning the tint and 

gam mo settings for your black-and-white prints. 

Here, you can even select different tints for 

the highlight and shadow areas of your print. 

The results you can achieve using glossy papers with the B9180 and B8850 
printers are not quite as good as those produced by the Z3100 and Z3200 
because both A3 printers only use two grades of black ink. 

7.4 Specialized "Raster Image Processing" (RIP) Software for 
Black-and-White Printing 

If your printer has only one black ink, it is quite difficult to achieve a neutral 
image without a color cast. In this case, a RIP specialized for black-and- 
white printing may help. The same is true when printing with multi-black 
third-party inks (e.g. quadtone inks). 

Colorbyte's ImagePrint 

ImagePrint earned Colorbyte [82] the reputation of producing very high- 
quality black-and-white prints from an Epson UltraChrome™ printer gen- 
eration (R2200, 4000, 7600, 9600) with only two blacks. It also uses special 
techniques to prevent major metamerism for black-and-white prints. 

We recommend using ImagePrint for black-and-white only on print- 
ers that use at least two blacks. The black-and-white prints for the HP 
DesignJet look very good, but also show strong metamerism when you 
view the images outside in daylight. You can compensate for this by using 
the right tint. 

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7.4 Specialized "Raster Image Processing" (RIP) Software for Black-and-White Printing 


We have covered ImagePrint previously (see section 6.3, page 176), 
therefore we concentrate here only on the features needed for black-and- 
white printing. 

By selecting an ImagePrint grayscale profile, Image- 
Print is set for black-and-white printing. These 
grayscale profiles can only be created by ColorByte. 
Fortunately ColorByte covers many different 

You should also find which black point you 
prefer for your black-and-white prints. 

Photographers actually have very different prefer- 
ences as to how a black-and-white print should look 
(even varying from image to image). Some like 
them cool, others warmer. This factor creates a need 
for print toning, and also to compensate for the 
original black tones of the printers. 

ImagePrint has very sophisticated controls for ton- 
ing images: 





1 — 

HtfM Ptilhfc 

Spi.W i h S*# 


Figure 7-15: ImagePrint black-and-white color management settings 

The tint control allows more different tones than you may need for typical 
printing. It even allows tinting shadows differently than the rest of the image 
by so-called split toning (see figure 7-16). You should experiment with your 
printer to find the ideal tint, and stay with it for future prints. 

If you work a lot in black-and-white, you should check out ImagePrint 
for your workflow. A free demo version may be downloaded from the 
Internet. This demo version will embed a watermark into your printed 




fr»lQiw|*tai» I" 


Pifita j_ 

Figure 7-16: 
ImagePrint tint control 

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7 Black-and-White Prints 


See section 6.3 "Printing Using a RIP" for 
more details. 

The large-format black-and-white photographer Roy Harrington looked for 
a simpler and less- expensive alternative to ImagePrint that he also could 
adapt to customize black-and-white ink sets. So he created his own RIP: 

We have seen some very good prints made by Roy with QuadToneRIP. 
We covered QTR in section 6.3 on page 173. We will not get into details here, 
but you may also want to check out this software (you can download QTR 
from [86] and try the software before you buy/ 

Other Solutions 

Clayton Jones offers a nice feature-page 
at [47I 

► StudioPrint RIP [85] (non-PostScript) by ErgoSoft supports third-party 
ink-sets, as well as quadtone inks. It provides a very good linearization 
process. ErgoSoft also offers a RIP (TexPrint) for printers printing on 
fabric instead of paper. Additionally, ColorGPS is a very sophisticated 
package for profiling for printing on paper as well as on fabric. 

► Jon Cone's Piezography Neutral K7 ink-set [108] with several different 
black inks and profiles to support them. 

► InkJetControl™ (see [81] ) is software dedicated to black-and-white prin- 
ting, and comes together with OpenPrintMaker™. 

We prefer to use either black-and-white-enabled printer drivers for printers 
that have several black inks or use a RIP, such as QTR or ImagePrint (see 
section 6.3 "Printing Using a RIP"). 

Some photographers swear by '"Black Only" (BO) printing, using just 
a single black ink for their prints. The results they achieve for their kind of 
images are very good. The advantages of this technique are its simplicity 
and low cost.** 

(S) profiles 

53 Ey e-One-ReadMe . pdf 
(3 QTR-21-gray.txt 
IB QTR-21-random.txt 
12 QTR-51-gray.txt 
H QTR-Create-ICC . exe 
Q QTR-Linearize-Data . exe 
"§ 5tep-21-gray.tif 
§] 5tep-51-gray.tif 
jfe Step-5 1 -random . tif 

Figure 7~V. OFF tint control 

7.5 Soft-Proofing for Black-and-White Prints 

Soft-proofing your black-and-white prints will save you a lot of print itera- 
tions (meaning paper, ink, and time). 

Roy Harrington came up with a solution as part of his QuadToneRIP 
package (QTR). The package comes with a target and a program to create 
black-and-white profiles. Additionally, you need the GretagMacbeth Eye 
One spectrophotometer and a version of ProfileMaker's Measure tool (a 
demo version will do). 

Downloaded from: 

7.5 Soft-Proofing for Black-and-White Prints 


1. First, you print the 21 gray patch target on your printer with the exact 
specified black-and-white settings (all black-and-white settings, paper 
type, toning, dpi, etc.) for your black-and-white capable printer (see 
beginning of this chapter). Let the print dry overnight for optimum 

\ti n i «1 t* >S l-a iftfr Si n Hi 34 M tl *i «fr ifl la 1l *i Cm J 

Figure 7-18: 

B& W target with 21 gray patches 

2. Next, launch the ProfileMaker Measure tool and select the £ QTR-2i- 
random.txt' reference chart (see figure 7-19): 

l.urTest Chart Measurement 


_<-! ri 

Choose the type of test chart to measure: 

Test Chart: 




J^J I I 


Figure 7-19: Select the chart in ProfileMaker 

3. Start the measurement and read the line with the Eye One in Strip 
mode. As there are only a few patches, this will be quite easy and 

4. Finally, export the Lab values to a text file. Give it some descriptive 
name describing your driver settings (e.g. "Eps_semigloss_neutral.txt"): 

5. Now just drop the text file onto the "QTR-Create-ICC" application and 
it will create the black-and-white ICC profile "Eps_semigloss_neutral. 
ice' for you: install this profile into your system profile folder. 

Figure 7-20: Read the strip 

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7 Black-and-White Prints 

Soft-Proofing Setup in Photoshop 






*-*-■ i 

Q Smtirito Pn Cite 


f/'gi/re 7-27: Set up yoi/r black-and-white profile for a soft-proof 

See also section 3.12 on soft-proofing. 

** However, we don't use this function, as 
there is little control in this process, and we 
don't like converting an image into a device- 
specific gamut. 

Now you can use this black-and-white profile for your 
soft-proofing in Photoshop. Following Roy's instruc- 
tions exactly we do soft-proofing of the image using a 
setting like the one shown in figure 7-21 and print using 
Photoshop's function Print (with Photoshop CS3 or 
later) or Print with Preview with previous versions of 
Photoshop, setting Photoshop to "Let Photoshop 
Determine Colors" as described in section 5.3. Use the 
QTR profile as your ICC profile.* 

Because these are real ICC profiles, you can use 
them as profiles in the printing dialog for Photoshop 
or other CMS -aware printing applications - this is one way of using method 
C described on page 185. You can even use them for converting a color 
image to a black-and-white image (Edit ►Convert to Profile and then select 
the black-and-white profile as your target)/* 

Thanks to Roy Harrington, this problem now also has a simple, elegant 
solution. If you have a licensed version of QTR, then feel free to share these 
profiles with other QTR users. 

For the 'Digital Outback Open Forum' see 


Some Comments from Roy Harrington Posted in Our News Group: 

"As the article demonstrates, the basic procedure for these grayscale ICC 
profiles is very much like color profiling methods and produces a profile 
that is used very much like color profiles. 

All standard profiles have two parts: one set of curves used for print- 
ing and to convert Lab values (i.e., colors to numbers for the print driver). 
The other set is used for soft-proofing that show the actual color (Lab) that 
is produced for numbers that are sent to the driver. 

On first glance, these two sets of curves are just the inverse of each 
other. But in fact, they can be and usually are slightly different. In color, the 
obvious difference is the mapping for out- of- gamut colors. In soft-proofing 
the idea is to map a color to the best the printer can do and then map back 
to what color that actually is, so you can see it on your screen. 

Grayscale profiles do nearly the same thing. There is no gamut limita- 
tion - black is mapped to Dmax and white to Dmin with perceptual intent 
mapping everything in between. This direction is pure grayscale; the result 
being the grayscale values that are sent to the driver (QTR, Epson ABW). 
The soft-proof side, however, is gray to Lab values and therefore color map- 
ping. So, in the soft-proof, you see the actual tint of the print. In the soft- 
proof setup you can also Simulate Paper Color and/or Simulate Black Ink 
that will show those colors. 

The profile-making procedure actually creates two functions in one 
ICC profile. Usually, one would use them both - print with the profile and 
soft-proof with the same profile. But the soft-proof setup has a check box 

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7.5 Soft-Proofing for Black-and-White Prints 


that asks whether or not you will be printing with the profile. Preserve 
Color Numbers OFF means show the output using the profile in printing. 
ON means: Show the output as if you are not using the profile in print- 

As in all soft-proofing, no screen output is identical to a print. The idea 
is to get a view easier for you to make a visual jump to what a print will look 

For Measure Tool settings, they should be set to: S pect ra I OFF, Ref I ecti ve 

7.6 Papers for Black-and-White Prints 

Finding the correct paper for black-and-white prints is even more compli- 
cated and demanding than good papers for color. Why? The classic black- 
and-white prints are based on silver- halide, photographic paper quality 
levels that are not that easy to match. As with color, there are three sorts of 
papers that photographers prefer: 

► Matte fine art papers 

► Satin papers with a very soft gloss finish 

► High-gloss papers 

Baryt papers - or those emulating the appearance of Baryt papers - can be 
considered to be yet another class of papers. They come with a glossy, semi- 
gloss, or a matte surface, all having a smooth surface. While most of the 
glossy types will be bright white, there are some variations in the Baryt 
papers that have a warm color - e.g., Harman Baryta Matt FB Mp Warmtone. 
While Baryt papers do produce very fine results with color prints, black- 
and-white prints is where they really shine. 

As we discussed earlier, you cannot reach the same contrast and Dmax 
(maximum color density) on matte papers as is possible on glossy papers, 
and papers with a natural or even warm white will allow for less Dmax than 
those that are bright white. On the other hand, some matte papers, with 
their soft cotton surfaces, look just great. For a list of the papers we tested 
and which we recommend for black-and-white prints, see appendix B.5. 

More Information on Black-and-White Printing 

Clayton Jones [47] has a very instructive Web page on fine art black-and- 
white printing. Uwe Steinmueller also provides a series of papers on black- 
and-white photography and printing, and also provides a forum on "Digital 
B&W processing and printing"/ 

-> In appendix D, you will find some URLs for 
several resellers of fine art papers. 

-> As matte papers are even more sensitive 
to dirt and sweat from fingerprints, don't 
touch the paper without wearing cotton 
gloves and even then avoid touching the 
printing area. 

* See 

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Camera: Nikon DiX 

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Image Evaluation and 

Presenting Fine Art Prints 

Image Evaluation 

An image for fine art printing will likely be evaluated and judged many 
times, starting with the first inspection after downloading from the flash 
card of your digital camera or after scanning. Typically, only very few of 
these photos will make it to fine art printing. Before you begin actually 
printing, you should give the image an additional close inspection, looking 
for minor faults like dust spots, or dead or hot pixels. Do this at least at a 
zoom level ofioo %. Next, we recommend you make a test print on lesser- 
quality paper and possibly a somewhat smaller-sized print. 

Repeat a close inspection, increasing scrutiny for minor deficiencies. It 
may even be helpful to use a magnifying glass. You may be surprised how 
many minor deficiencies you will find. If you proceed with an image con- 
taining defects, you 11 have to patch them in Photoshop. 

A test print done on a paper different from the final print is useful for 
the purpose described above, but not for examination of the proper colors. 
This inspection is next. 

Presentation of Fine Art Prints 

Even when you have a beautifully printed image, there is still work to be 
done. The image must be prepared for presentation. A nice image looks 
better when it is well-matted, and a framed image looks best of all. This 
chapter will cover presentation techniques, focusing mainly on matting. 

You matting and frame choice may be strongly influenced by your personal 
taste - or that of a buyer or gallery. There are virtually millions of ways for mat- 
ting - single matting or double matting with different colored mats or even no 
matting at all - and of framing or direct mounting on various kinds of boards. 
Here, we will mainly restrict our discussion to the technical side and will not go 
into any discussion on taste. 

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8 Image Evaluation and Presenting Fine Art Prints 

8.1 Critical Image Inspection 

It may be helpful to use a magnifying glass 

for closer inspection. But this is more for 

seeing the printing dot pattern in a more 

technical way than to see the impression the 

print will have. 

- $* S?!I 

Figure 8-v Ligh tbox XL for viewing A3+ sized 
prints (Courtesy Quato Technology Germany) 

Figure 8-2: SoLux TrueColor Task Lamp with 

a light spectrum close to natural daylight 

{4,700 K/D50) (Courtesy Tailored Lighting Inc.) 

In the first inspection of your prints, you should look for obvious flaws in 
your print - tiny dust spots you didn't notice in your digital image, some 
dust or tiny paper fragments that came on when printing, or for stripes or 

The final inspection is for the correct colors of your print. Section 8.7 
discusses using standardized daylight D50 for a proper inspection of col- 
ors, because that's the light today's color management systems target and 
rely upon. When you have a normal ICC profile, its colors are based on D50 
light. Today, only a few profiling systems support other lighting, although 
this will be a feature any good package will have in the future. 

You might argue that the print will probably not be viewed under D50 
light, since most normal lamps have a somewhat different light spectrum. 
Nevertheless, your first inspection for correct colors should be done using 
a D50- compliant lighting. How do you achieve that? There are a number of 
ways - some simple and cheap and also more expensive ones: 

► The professional way would be to use a D50 lightbox (viewing box) as 
seen in figure 8-1. There are boxes that serve for viewing and judging 
transparencies, as well as prints (incidental light). 

With some boxes, you may even dim the light to a level at which you 
can compare the print to an on-screen image side by side, both with the 
same brightness level. This kind of box is the proper choice for print 
shops and final press work. With a price tag of about $500-$i,ooo, they 
aren't cheap and they take up valuable space on your desk top. Some of 
them offer different light sources, providing D50, D65 and D75. 

► Use of a D50-compliant luminary. This method is usually less expen- 
sive, about $ioo-$i50. The point of these lamps is their Dso-compliant 
light source and neutral white reflector. 

There are several companies offering such daylight lamps: SoLux 
TrueColor Task Lamp {[77], see figure 8-2), the Ott-Lite TrueColor light 
( [75] ] ) or the Sol-Source by X-Rite ( [78] ) . 

We use the Sol- Source. 

When you wish to inspect large-scale prints, you will probably want 
to use color viewing lamps like GRAPHICLITE 100 by GTI Graphics 
Technology ([71]) as they are used in printing companies. They consist 
of any array of fluorescent tubes with a color temperature of 5,000 K. 

► Buy a D50- compliant bulb or tube, and use it in a lamp with a neutral 
white or a pure silver reflector. Your investment will be about $i5-$25, 
including the lamp fixture. 

We recommend avoiding fluorescent tubes, at least in small-scale 
solutions, as their light spectrum is not even and typically shows several 
spikes (see figure 8-24 on page 217). SoLux and Ott-Lite offer these 
kinds of bulbs/tubes. Some also recommend Philips TL-950 5,000 K 

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8.1 Critical Image Inspection 


fluorescent bulbs, or Philips Colortone F40T12/C50, as reasonably 
priced alternatives. 

► Inspect your print in bright daylight. As the spectrum of daylight 
changes through the day, the best time for this will be around noon. 
Though the least-expensive solution, it is also the least reliable one. If 
you must rely on daylight, you should at minimum use the light indica- 
tor strips described on page 204 (see figure 8-4). 

In most cases, your lighting does not really have to be exactly 5,000 K, but 
should be reasonably close to it. A light source in the color temperature 
range of 4,500 to 5,500 Kelvin is probably close enough. An even and bal- 
anced color power spectrum is probably more important, as color power 
spikes (e.g., from most fluorescent tubes) may skew some colors. This is why 
we prefer daylight-balanced halogen lamps. 

Before you begin a color inspection, the print should be completely dry. The 
time required for this depends on the type of ink and paper used, but one 
hour should be the minimum time, as the color will change slightly during 
the drying process. 

If you intend to coat your print (see section 8.6), we recommend doing 
a second inspection after coating and drying of the coating. Coating will 
influence the appearance of colors. 

For a critical color inspection, your environment should be color neu- 
tral. Avoid colored wall papers nearby or any other colored reflection from 
nearby objects. Use a neutral white, gray or black background for your 
image. Environmental colors influence your color perception! It is well 
worth first using a bright light, or working close to the lamp, for inspection 
and using a normal-intensity light for color judgment. Normal here mean- 
ing about 150-400 lux, about the standard office-light intensity. 

For final color inspection, you should provide a light situation similar 
to one the print will probably be viewed under. This, again, may influence 
your colors, plus some metamerism may occur. In some cases, you must go 
back in the entire printing process to slightly correct an image. Some newer 
versions of printer-profiling packages allow for this eventuality, when gen- 

Figure 8-3: 

Three types of "daylight" bulbs. While the 
left two are more suited for image and color 
inspection, the bulb on the right is filtered and 
halogen based (SoLux MR 16, 4 700 K), and 
may also be used for illuminating a print on 
the wall. 

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8 Image Evaluation and Presenting Fine Art Prints 

* e.g., PULSE ColorElite {[74]), as well as erating a printer profile/ You should gain considerable experience for this 
X-Rite's ProfileMaker ([78])) kind of color and profile fine-tuning. 

If you experience bronzing (black being slightly copper colored) or 
metamerism, using a specialized RIP may help (see section 6.3). 

Control Tools 

You may not have a D50 or D65 light box or other light source (e.g., a lamp) 
that complies with the lighting standard for image inspection. In this case, 
there are a few simple control tools available that may help judge lighting 
conditions. They are called light indicators and consist of some patches 
printed with colors showing strong metamerism. While this is undesirable 
in many conditions, here it helps. When patches show different colors 
(stripes), this indicates that your current lighting is off natural daylight 
(4,700-5,500 K). If, instead, the different patches display the same color, 
your lighting is (probably) close to the lighting standard of 5,000 K: 

Figure 8-4: 

GATF RHEM Light Indicator strip, showing 

under unsuitable lighting (left) and lighting, 

that is close to the view standard of 

5,000 Kelvin (right) 

You may order these patches from several sources, e.g., from the GAIN store 
[70]). Bruce Fraser includes such a patch-strip at the end of his excellent 
book on color management [5]. 

Still more accurate is a spectrophotometer, such as Eye-One Pro, the colo- 
rimeter Eye-One Display 2 by X-Rite ([78]), PULSE ColorElite (no longer in 
production) or the Spider3Pro or Spide3Elite by DataColor ([67]). Most of 
today's hardware-based monitor profiling tools come with a device that 
allows measurement of the color temperature of lighting. Some of the more 
expensive light meters also provide this. 

8.2 Presentation Options 

Here are some of the most common options for displaying prints: 

► Portfolio binders 

► Portfolio books 

► Portfolio cases with matted prints 

► Single-matted prints 

► Final- framed prints 

All but the first option require that you mat your prints. 

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8.4 Matting 


8.3 Portfolio Binders 

Many different kinds of portfolio binders are readily available. A cheap 
looking portfolio binder can make an entire portfolio appear cheap. Also, 
plastic sleeves come in various quality levels. Some sleeves are less transpar- 
ent than others. Sleeves protect portfolio prints, but can also detract from a 
print s true quality with milky plastic or light reflections on the sleeves. 

For galleries, top quality binders are preferred, along with a suitable 
layout for your portfolio prints. Some of the digital tools for Photoshop 
simulating frames can be a good place to start. Finally, you should find a 
layout for your signature that fits to your work. All materials for portfolio 
binders should be archival (acid free, will not yellow). Below are some of 
the binder brands we use: 

► Itoya Art Profolio Evolution ( [100] ) : Inexpensive and simple. Adequate 
to store images. Probably not the correct choice to display in a gallery. 

► Prat ([no]): Higher-end portfolios. Quite expensive. 

► "Unibind Photo Book Creator" is also a fine solution where the binding 
of the portfolio is provided by Book Creator/ This reasonably priced 
device can bind up to about 30 pages (12" x 12" maximum). 

Figure 8-5: 

Uwe's first portfolio 

using a Unibind album 

(Binder cover with 


If you use transparent sleeves for your 
images, they should be made of polyethylene, 
polystyrene or polypropylene but not 
polyvinyl (PVC) or cellophane as the latter 
two contain softening agents. 

* See our paper on the "Unibind Photo Book 
Creator" at 
pw_54Zessay.htm I 

Figure 8-6: Unibind Photo Book Creator at 

Figure 8-7: 
Open binder 

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8 Image Evaluation and Presenting Fine Art Prints 

8.4 Matting 
True Matting 

Note: For your matting, moun- 
ting and framing work all 
materials should be archival 

back mat 


single mat - 
double mat 
Figure 8-8: Fhe matting process 

Using precut mats or letting the mats be cut 

by a matting service might be a good start 

if you do not have the right tools and some 

experience in mat cutting. 

The most common form of fine art print presentation is matting. While 
there are many different styles of matting, we cover some methods com- 
monly used by fine art photographers. 

► Back Mat: This may be regular mat board or archival foam board. 

► Mats: The two principle styles are single matting and double matting. 
We mainly use single, natural-white mat boards. 

The color of the mat board should harmonize with the colors of the image. 
Picking one of the image colors and lightening it or darkening it a bit is one 
way to achieve this. At the same time, the matting should show a clear con- 
trast to the outer sides of the image to clearly separate image and mat. 

More on mats: 

► Museum boards are 8 -ply thick (used often for black- 
and-white matting) 

► Most boards are 4-ply (used by us) 

► Boards need to be archival 

► Boards are available in many colors (we prefer simple, 
natural white) 

► You can use your own mat cutter, purchase precut mats, 
or order mats from a custom mat- cutting service. 
Remember that blades need to be very sharp, otherwise 
they make, if cutting your own mats, ragged corners. 
Change blades often! 

Principles of the Matting Process 

► Always print pictures with white borders at least l" wide. 

► Use heavy paper so that your photos do not curl. De-curl prints, if 
needed. We usually use paper of 250-350 gsm mats in an attempt to 
avoid curling. 

► The first step is to mount/hinge the print onto the back-mat. We hinge 
the print to avoid possible side-effects of heat or glue. 

Thin or large prints need to be cold- or heat-mounted (glued to the 
back mat). Both methods are quite delicate tasks. Testing is suggested to 
see how your paper behaves. We will later show a procedure to hinge a 

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8.4 Matting 


► Cut the first mat and place it on top of the print. Here are two principle 
strategies for cutting the top opening in a mat. 

#1: The mat opening is wide enough to show the white boarder, and 
a possible signature (you may prefer to tone the photo paper to 
match the mat). 

#2: The mat hides the white border of the print. 

► Optional: Cut a second mat if you prefer double mats. 

As when handling fine art papers, wear cotton gloves when handling your 

Matworks! helps with your calculations 

For the PC, there is a helpful, free program by Giorgio Trucco called 
"Matworks!" ([60]) which you may download from Giorgios internet site. 
Matworks! aids in the calculations of mat openings: 


U*m*-r 1 


Hm fliiiiii 


kH— *M*rirt 

Mtt* DJMft*ta«» ftttri+w {Df*taiA( i» JA 5«M 

bdi L MjI > L r^Thi ii( 11 .-< in Tn j Irl ; r«ivinr no1 iji irjilrl 

ImubJr Mar l]ir«Tvi.n| ne-1 iji jk^Jrl 

You enter the following values (see figure 8-9 and 8-10): 

► Back-mat size: Here, 18" x 24" 

► Size of the print paper: Here, 13 " x 19 " 

► Print size: Size of the actual print on paper you want to display. For our 
example, it is 10" x 15". 

Figure 8-9: 
Matworks! main 

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8 Image Evaluation and Presenting Fine Art Prints 

■UtTIKt; nut 

lEE^^H ft tHni^ 1>iWM *-^m 

f/gi/re 8-70: Matworks! input data 

Figure 8-77: 
Matworks! output 

► Mat Style: Here, Single Mat 

► Weighted or centered: Weighted means that the bottom border will be 
larger than the top border. Centered will keep both borders the same 
measurement. This depends on your personal taste. 

► Mat over image overlap: The mat overlap can be positive or negative. 
When positive, the mat covers part of the actual image. If negative, the 
mat allows some part of the white border to show (consider tinting the 
photo paper during printing to match the mat color). Revealing a white 
border has some advantages, as a signature can be written on the photo 
paper and it will remain visible. 

When you hit Calculate, Matworks! calculates all the placements and open- 

Matworks! is very helpful when using a standard mat cutter where the open- 
ings are marked on the back of a board with a pencil. This next section 
describes a sample session using a professional mat cutter and more 
advanced matting techniques. 

A Mat-Cutting Sample Session 

Here we show a sample session, where we followed the well-known master 
printer Charles Cramer in his studio. Charles showed us how he mats pic- 
tures, using one of our prints from an HP DesignJet 90: 

► Paper size: 13" x 19" 

► Print size: 10" x 15" 

► Mat size: i8 n X24". We advise using standard mat sizes: n"xi4", 
16" x 20", 18" x 24", 24" x 30". This way, the mats readily fit standard sized 
frames. Of course, there are situations where you may choose to deviate 
from these standard sizes. 

► Single matting 

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8.4 Matting 


Matting Step-by-Step 

We again stress that all materials used are archival!* 

1. Cut two 18" x 24" mat boards (using identical material). 

2. Place the print onto the back-mat (centered or weighted) and secure it 
in place using Post-it notes. 

3. Mount/hinge the print to the back- mat. Charles uses a so-called T-hinge 

Note: For HP satin paper, we may glue the print at the top of the paper, 
since the back is very rough and tape may not adhere securely. 

* Implying I ign in-free, acid -free (better still if 
"buffered") and must not chemically interact 
with the print in any way 

Figure 8-12: 

Transparent tape mounted to the back of the 

print (glue toward the top) 

Figure 8-13: 

Use tape to hinge the transparent tape to the back mat 

4. Add protective photo corners. 

In fact, these photo corners do not actually hold the print, but leave 
room for a print to move (allowing for changes in heat and humidity). 
The photo corners also serve the purpose of helping to avoid excessive 
tension on the T-hinges during transport. 

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8 Image Evaluation and Presenting Fine Art Prints 

Figure 8-14: 
Stabilize the print with photo corners 


5. Measure the opening of the single mat. 

Figure 8-15: 
Measuring the border width 

We are now ready to cut the mat. Charles uses a 40" x 6o M 
Speed-Mat cutter (Uwe has a 32" x 40" model.) These mat 
cutters are expensive, but make cutting mats more fun. 
Additionally, these wall- mounted cutting systems save 
considerable space. 

With the Speed-Mat, it is not necessary to mark the 
opening on the back, as you can set all four corner stops 
of the Speed-Mat itself. The mat board is then inserted, 
and cut on all four sides without changing the mat board 

Figure 8-16: Speed-Mat cutter 

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8.4 Matting 


6. Smooth the cuts with a burnishing bone. 

Figure 8-17: 

Smoothing using a burnishing bone 

7. Sign the print if you wish. 

In this case, we sign both the print* and the mat, because we will hide the 
white border with our mat. Of course, for signing on the print, use pig- 
ment ink pens that are archival. 

8. Fasten the back-mat and the mat together with tape. 

Figure 8-18: 
Signature on the print 

* In case it should be re- matted in the future 

Figure 8-19: 

Fasten back-mat and mat 

9. Sign on the mat. We prefer to use a normal soft pencil for the signature 
on the mat. 

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8 Image Evaluation and Presenting Fine Art Prints 

Figure 8-20: 
Signature on the mot 

These steps are not difficult, but close attention must be paid to each small, 
yet important, detail. 

Faux Matting 

* There should at least be a distance of 

2-3 mm from print to glass. You may use 

small matting board strips to achieve this. 

These strips may be hidden by the side of the 


When we talk about "faux matting", it means a separate mat is not used; 
rather, a mat-like image is printed surrounding the original print. This, 
quite naturally, is not of the same quality as a true mat but, may be satisfac- 
tory in some cases. When using a good faux mat, one may have to look 
closely to see the difference. When a framed print includes a glass cover, a 
disadvantage of faux matting is that the faux mat will provide no separation 
between the print and the glass. A print in contact with the glass is a poor 

Figure 8-21: 
This faux matting was done using QuickMats 3 

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8.5 Framing a Print 213 

Faux mats can be created in Photoshop or other drawing programs. 
Specialized Photoshop plug-ins are available for this purpose (e.g., QuickMats 
by John Hartman [51]), but with a price tag of $ 229, may be too expensive 
for many users. An inexpensive alternative is ShutterFreaks' "Photoshop 
Frames for Printing" available for about $20 (see [61]). It offers a set of 
actions for creating frames and mats within Photoshop. 

One advantage of faux matting is that it is easy to select a mat color that 
matches a color found in the image. To do this, determine a dominant color 
from the image and use the same color for the mat background color. In 
most cases, a more appealing mat is achieved if the color saturation of the 
mat is reduced to a slightly lighter color. 

8.5 Framing a Print 

For optimum permanence, it is advisable to frame pictures using a glass or 
acrylic cover. This not only helps to present an image in an appealing way, 
but also protects it from dust and other kinds of contamination. Glass, 
acrylic, or Plexiglas, also filter some of the destructive UV components of 
light (partly by reflecting it). In addition, air flow over the print is greatly 
reduced, thus adding protection from the bleaching effect of air pollutants, 
such as ozone. 

Like matting, framing is a matter of personal taste. Fortunately for the 
fine art photographer, there are literally thousands of different types of 
frames. For this reason, we will focus only on basic framing techniques, 
and not on the types of frames. 

The normal framing process involves: 

1. Attaching the print to a backing board 

2. Overlaying the attached print with a mat, if one is used. This is done 
using archival- quality framing tape. 

3. This sandwiched package is then covered by an acrylic or glass front 
panel (at least we recommend this) and mounted into the frame. 
To improve the UV- filtering function of your glass or Plexiglas, use 
museum-quality materials. This may filter up to 99% of the UV rays, but 
is substantially more expensive (three to five times as much) than stan- 
dard glass or acrylic. 

4. Tape this sandwich into the actual frame, again using archival -quality 

Alternatively, the backing board, print, mat and glass front sandwich 
may be fixed into the frame with spring clips on the back of the frame. 
However, even when using spring clips, we recommend adding tape on 
the back to create an (almost) air-tight package. 

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8 Image Evaluation and Presenting Fine Art Prints 

Figure 8-22: 

Print cold-mounted on an aluminum board 

(top) and frame-mounted (bottom) create a 

different impression - not only due the the 

frame, but also due to a different color caused 

by the glass used with the wooden frame. 

(prints: Gottfried Huettemann, Germany) 

e.g. 8"x 70" 11" x 14" or i6"x2o". 

If the image has been printed on canvas rather than on paper, the canvas 
should be mounted on a board, or artist stretcher bars should be used. 

Frames are available in many styles, materials and sizes. Ensure that the 
material is acid-free, if longevity of the print is an issue, and that any part of 
the frame coming in contact with the print will not chemically alter the 

About costs: it is advisable to use one of the numerous standard frame 
sizes/ One disadvantage of this is that those sizes do not match printing- 
industry paper sizes. This is no real problem if a larger frame and a mat that 
matches the frame size is used. However, the aspect ratio of most standard 
sized frames differs from the aspect ratio of photos shot with today's digital 
cameras (which is either 3:4 or 2:3 - if you did not crop part of the original 
image), or even with traditional 35-mm film format (which is 2:3). 

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8.5 Framing a Print 


Here are some further points to consider when framing a print: 

► Allow your print ample time to dry before it is framed. We consider 24 
hours to be the minimum drying time, but we prefer two to three days. 

► All material used must be archival or museum quality/ This applies to 
backing boards, mats, adhesive materials, and even the paper used to seal 
the print against dust and air flow at the back of the print. To ensure that 
the materials used are conservation quality, look for material that has a 
P.A.T. certification. 

► If a wooden frame is used, do not let the print touch the wood (wood 
contains some acid and lignin), but separate it from the wood using 
buffer paper. 

► Never let the print come in contact with the glass, as some inks or coat- 
ings may react with the glass or permanently stick to it. Should conden- 
sation occur, water on the glass could damage the print. Either a mat or 
a frame spacer should be used to provide sufficient print clearance. 

When there is not a demand for large quantities of frames, it is advisable, and 
often less expensive, to use the services of a framing shop. A framing shop 
can provide standard- sized and custom- sized frames. When print preserva- 
tion is desired, the framing service must be clearly instructed to use only 
archival- quality materials. 

Not only are there many different types of frames, but there are also many 
more ways to mount a print. Mounting prints on foam, fiber boards, or even 
aluminum boards are good alternatives that give a print a more modern 
touch. Foam boards are available in various sizes and thicknesses from art 
supply vendors. They may easily be cut to your required size with a sharp 
blade or a mat cutter. 

When a print is mounted on a board, a borderless print, or one cut to 
be borderless, will probably look best. A mounted print without a glass 
cover may display colors better than a print with standard glass, as the 
glass may give your print a more bluish appearance (see figure 8-22 lower 
image). This may be prevented by using more expensive, specialized glass. 

There are several methods of mounting prints: 

► Hot-mounting techniques 

► Cold-mounting techniques 

► Spray mounting 

Since proficient mounting requires some experience, it should be left to a 
photo service, frame shop or bookbinder. The investment in tools and the 
time to learn mounting is worth the expense only if one intends to mount a 
large quantity of prints. 

Acid-free, lignin-free 

-> A nice paper on framing of fine art 
prints may be found at the internet site 
of the "Fine Art Trade Guild": 

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8 Image Evaluation and Presenting Fine Art Prints 

8.6 Coating a Print 

* One product, recommended by several 

photographers and having a test certificate by 

WIR, is Premier Art Print Shield ([m]). It is offered 

as a spray or a liquid that may be rolled on or 

otherwise applied to prints. 

Figure 8-23: PrintShield by PremierArt is one 

of the proven post-coatings and available in 

several packaging sizes and for matte as well as 

for gloss papers. 

With canvas -based prints, usually no frame, glass or acrylic cover is used. In 
this case, it is recommended to cover the print with a protective coating. The 
same is true when mounting a print on foam board or other type of board 
to display it with no covering at all. For prints presented outdoors, coating 
is an absolute must. There are two specific problems with coating: 

1. There are few coatings on the market that have a proven record for 
being truly archival (conservation quality)/ 

2. The coating will, to some extent, influence colors. For this reason, if 
color confidence is an issue, you should use an ICC profile based on a 
coated print. Print the image on the preferred paper, coat it, then profile 
this combination. 

When coating, be sure the coating is suited for the kind of ink and the type 
of paper surface used with the print. Some coatings are only suited for dye- 
based inks, while only a few coatings are suited for matte or semigloss prints. 

There are several ways to apply the coating, such as with a brush, a 
roller (we prefer a foam roller), or by spraying. Applying the coating with a 
brush or roller gives the surface a somewhat artistic special touch. In any 
case, it must be done very carefully, while avoiding dust. There is a genuine 
risk of spoiling a print when coating. It is advisable to test the coating method 
using a scrap print, before experimenting on a prized photo. Carefully 
clean the print prior to coating, and be certain that it is thoroughly dry. A 
good rule of thumb is to wait a minimum of one day after printing a photo 
prior to coating. 

When framing a coated print, allow the coating ample time to dry 
before framing or storing. 

When working with a spray- on coating, wear a face mask, goggles, and 
gloves, and work in a well-ventilated area. Maintain a stable room tem- 
perature of about 64°-77° Fahrenheit (i8°-25° C). 

Laminating a print 

Lamination effectively seals and protects an entire print from humidity, 
soiling, and atmospheric pollutants. With pigmented inks, laminating also 
provides a highly homogeneous gloss. In theory, laminating should improve 
lightfastness, however, studies show that this is not always the case, even in 
instances that followed the high-quality techniques used by some muse- 

High-quality lamination requires specialized tools, therefore the ser- 
vices of a reputable print shop may be preferable for this process. 

In our opinion, laminating may give the photo a somewhat plasticky 

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J Displaying a Print in True Light 


8.7 Displaying a Print in True Light 

Lighting is a prominent concern when shooting a photograph. Light is also 
an important factor when presenting a photograph, as the impression of a 
printed image is very much influenced by its external lighting. 

As mentioned previously, digital color management assumes that 
Daylight 50 (D50) will be used for image viewing (or inspection). Prints 
produced by our inkjet driver" are fine-tuned and color-corrected while 
viewing them under D50 illumination. Employing different lighting man- 
agement systems may lead to incorrect coloration and/or "metamerism". 

Metamerism is an effect wherein two colors appear identical when 
viewed in one type of lighting, but look different when viewed in another 
type of lighting (or vice versa). The degree of metamerism may depend on 
the inks used, the ink mix used, the weaving pattern (dithering) employed, 
and a variety of other factors. But even when there is no noticeable 
metamerism, colors may change when viewed under different lighting. 

* Or any other color-managed printing 

The Characteristics of Light 

When hanging your own prints or consulting with a customer about how 
they intend to display a print, it is important to understand the qualities of 
various forms of light. 

Let's have a look at a few common types of lighting: 

► Daylight (D50) 

► Tungsten Light 

► Sunlight 

► Fluorescent Light 

Figure 8-24 shows the various light characteristics of typical types of light- 
ing, and suggests how the appearance of an image can change according to 
the lighting used. 

X400 nm 

daylight (D50) 

500 600 


X 400 nm 


fluorescent light 

X 400 nm 






Figure 8-24: 

Light spectrum characteristics of typical 

lighting options 

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8 Image Evaluation and Presenting Fine Art Prints 

* There are some fluorescent tubes (e.g., some 

sold by "") that come 

closer to the daylight characteristics. 

** such as SoLux [77] and Ott-Lite [75] 

For more on daylight bulbs and tubes, see 
section 8.1. 

Using an Eye-One Pro spectrophotometer 

you may analyze the spectrum of your 

lighting as well as the lux values using the 

free application Eye-One Share. 

Daylight generates the most even and continuous spectrum of light. Because 
of this, daylight is used as the reference by which all other forms of light are 

Fluorescent light is clearly the least desirable type of lighting among 
those mentioned - at least standard fluorescent tubes/ However, there are 
still worse lighting conditions, such as metal-halide (mercury) lamps. 

It is advisable to display prints under lighting conditions that are close 
to daylight-like lighting whenever possible. Since natural light is inconsis- 
tent, even in a perfectly located room, the use of carefully placed lamps are 

Full-spectrum lamps or "daylight lamps" may be purchased from sev- 
eral lighting manufacturers.** Some manufacturers claim that their day- 
light lamps are superior, providing a more uniform light spectrum than 
their competitors, thus coming closer to ideal daylight. 

Spotlights can provide optimal lighting for a picture. Halogen systems 
with a UV filter provide warm, natural-looking light. Avoid white fluores- 
cent lamps which will cast a cold, rather dead light. 

The optimal light intensity for print illumination is about 200-500 lux. 
This intensity is equivalent to the average lighting in an office building. You 
can measure lux with a traditional light meter, although we prefer to use a 
digital model. 

Protecting Prints from Light Damage 

Exposure to light may decrease the longevity of a print. As stated in chapter 
2, the more energy emitted by a light source, the more destructive it will be. 
Thus, intensity and frequency (i.e., which part of the color spectrum) are 
factors to be considered. Brighter lighting will cause prints to fade faster; 
shorter wavelength lighting (with higher ultra-violet components) will do 
the same. 

Galleries and museums are acutely aware of the damaging effects of 
light and are very cautious when choosing lighting. 

In addition, if you market your prints, your customers may not be 
aware of the detrimental effects of natural and artificial light, and would 
most likely be grateful if you were to inform them. 

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8.8 Storing Prints 


8.8 Storing Prints 

Most of the guidelines and conditions that apply to the storage and preser- 
vation of traditional photographs also apply to digital prints. For optimal 
longevity, store prints in a dark, dry environment which is as cool as possi- 
ble. A relative humidity of 25-35 % is optimal. Specialized, sub-zero, cold 
storage systems are available, and are optimal for longtime archiving of 
valuable prints. (See [21] for essays on this topic). 

Whenever possible, avoid temperature and humidity fluctuations. 
When using a closed, air-tight container, you may add silica gel packages 
to absorb excess moisture. Flat, horizontal storage should be your prefer- 
ence. Avoid stacking prints directly on top of each other. Protect them 
from light, dust, high humidity, atmospheric contaminations, and from 
physical damage. This is best done by using envelopes or protective sleeves. 
The sleeve, envelope and the container (e.g., an archive box) or album all 
should be acid and lignin free and buffered. Regular PVC -based envelopes 
or sleeves should be avoided. As with framing, use P.A.T.-certified materi- 
als, if possible. 

A cheap but good way to store prints is to use the boxes the paper 
comes in. For fine art papers, these should be robust and provide a good 
archival environment. But never store prints face to face. Keep the prints 
face to back and insert an additional (acid-free, ligin-free, and buffered) pro- 
tective separator between the individual prints. 

Figure 8-25: Use closed archiving boxes with 

buffered materials 

(PAT certified) for storing your prints (Courtesy 

Monochrom [106]). 

Photographic Albums 

Storing prints in photographic albums is 
sometimes preferable to using archive boxes, 
particularly when frequent access is required 
for exhibitions and showings. For optimal 
print preservation, albums should be fabri- 
cated from acid-free, lignin-free, buffered 
materials. When using plastic protection 
sheets, select polyethylene, polystyrene or 
polypropylene. Avoid using plastic protec- 
tion sheets made of polyvinyl or cellophane,. 

Using an album slipcase will provide 
enhanced protection against dust and light, 
thus increasing the longevity of the con- 

The hinging of a print on an album sheet can be cumbersome. 
Fortunately, several companies offer printable album sheets constructed of 
high-quality inkjet paper. These printable sheets are usually sold with pre- 
punched holes, and may be easily inserted into the album by unscrewing a 
few screws. Albums of this type are available in a range of sizes up to 
19.3" x 25.6" (49 cm x 65 cm). 

Figure 8-26: Albums/portfolios with 
direct printing onto the album pages 
(Courtesy of Monochrom [106]) 

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Camera: Caonon 40D 

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Some Fine Art Printers 

In this appendix A, we try to off-load the description and 
handling of different printers. We only discuss fine art 
printers working with pigmented inks. Using the standard 
inks offered by the printer manufacturers and a good fine 
art paper will guarantee a high lightfastness and longevity of 
the print. Using a good profile is another prerequisite for 
good prints. 

As Epson, Hewlett Packard, and Canon have printer 
lines where features like ink types, print resolution, standard 
handling, and the driver dialogs are almost identical. The 
main difference lies in the maximum print width and per- 
haps the sizes of ink cartridges. We will group the printers of 
these manufacturers and describe their common features. 

All three parties offer at least one good entry-level 
13-inch fine art printer - e.g., Canon with the PIXMA 
PW9500 and HP with the Photosmart B9180 and B8850. 
Epson has several of them: Stylus Photo R1800, R1900 and 
R2400, even the Letter/ A-sized printer, the Stylus Photo 

We will update this appendix with an Internet version 
when new printers - suited for fine art printing - come out 
and we have had a change to evaluate them. Therefore, from 
time to time, pay a visit to Uwes website: 

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Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

A.I General Points on Fine Art Printers 

Here we only discuss printers that are suited for fine art printing. In our 
opinion, one of the most important features is the usage of pigmented 

Inks for Black-and-White Prints 

* HP, with its Z3100 lines, even uses four 

versions of black inks in a single print, 

as it uses Photo Black and Matte Black 

simultaneously (depending on the paper in 


As you will probably want to use gloss papers as well as matte papers, and 
black-and-white printing is a very common usage with fine art printers, the 
printer should support both Photo Black as well as Matte Black inks and 
should have at least a Light Black in addition to the full black versions. Most 
of the fine art printers discussed here allow for three shades of black ink: 
Full Black - Photo Black (PK) or Matte Black (MK) -, Light Black (IK, also 
called Gray) and a Light Light Black (11K, also called Light Gray)." Most fine 
art printers will additionally have Cyan and Light Cyan, Magenta, and Light 
Magenta as well as Yellow. This results in 8 to 12 inks. 

To achieve a homogeneous shine, when printing on papers with a shine 
(Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Luster, ...), some printers use a Gloss Optimizer (GO) 
when printing on such a media and add it to those areas where no ink or 
just little ink is applied. When printing on matte media, this Gloss 
Optimizer usually is not used. HP uses Gloss Optimizer in its Z3100 while 
Canon doesn't yet use Gloss Optimizer in its fine art printers. Epson uses 
a Gloss Optimizer in its R800, R1800, and R1900, but in none of its profes- 
sional printers. 

Photo Black and Matte Black Simultaneously On-line 

Figure A-v The HP Z3100 allows you to 

have Photo Black and Matte Black on-line 

simultaneously and doesn't need to rinse 

the print heads when switching from glossy 

to matte media. Here you see six of its 12 ink 

cartridges installed. 

Naturally, it is preferable that the printer allows you to have Photo Black and 
Matte Black online simultaneously. For instance, the Canon lines PIXMA 
Pro9500, iPFsooo, 5100, 6100, 8100, and iPF9ioo allow for this, and the HP 
lines B9180, B8850, Z3100, Z3200 and Z6100 do the same. With Epson, only 
the R3800, Pro 7900, Pro 9900 and Pro 11880 provide this feature. With all 
other Epson models described here, you manually have to switch Photo 
Black to Matte Black and vise versa, when changing from a gloss media to a 
matte media and back. 

This not only is an additional manual task, but also wastes some ink, 
as the print head for black has to be rinsed (automatically done by the 
printer) every time you change your type of ink. Even with the Epson 
R3800 and Pro 11880, some ink is spent for this nozzle-cleaning process 
when changing to another type of media, though it's only a small amount. 
With the R2400, and the Pro 4800/4880, 7800/7880 and 9800/9880, the 
amount of ink used for head cleaning depends on the length of the pipe 
feeding the ink to the printer head. While it is quite small for the R2400, 
it's quite a bit when using a Pro 4400/4480, Pro 7800/7880 or the Pro 

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A.1 General Points on Fine Art Printers 


Ink Cartridge Volume 

Even if your demand for large format prints is not tremendous but you 
produce a lot of prints, it might be well worth considering buying a large 
format printer due to the larger ink cartridges available for the LFP. With 
the Epson lines, for instance, this is 13 ml for the R2400; 80 ml for the Pro 
3800; 110 ml or 220 ml for the Pro 4880, 7880, and 9880; and 700 ml for the 
Pro 11880 (for each color). There are two advantages of larger cartridges: you 
don't have to constantly replace empty cartridges and the ink is cheaper per 
milliliter the larger the cartridge is. It's about $ 1.00 / ml with the 13 ml car- 
tridge and about $ 0.40 / ml with the 700 ml cartridge for the Epson print- 

However, there also is a downside to this if it takes too long to use up 
the ink of a cartridge: Pigmented inks should be used up in about 12 to 
18 months. If it takes longer than that, the pigments in the ink will have 
settled down, and you will obtain an uneven distribution of pigments in 
the ink solution. Therefore, don't buy too much spare ink! 

LFP = "Large Format Printer" 

ml = milliliter = Viooo liter 

-> The specifications tell us that the ink 
should be consumed within six months after 
being opened. 

Print Plug-ins 

Canon and Hewlett Packard provide a special Photoshop print plug-in for 
some of their printers. These plug-ins extend the printer driver interface, 
trying to gap the overlapping and deficiencies of the print interface of the 
application, operating system, and the printer driver. These plug-ins can 
add value at two main points: 

A. Allows you to pass full 16 -bit data on to the printer driver." 

B. Reduce the overlap of the interfaces mentioned above by merging all 
these into just one interface, and also allows you to save presets that 
include parameters previously set in any of these other dialogs. 

What we see today is the first generation of these plug-ins. We especially like 
the plug-in provided by Canon for the iPF50oo/5ioo and 6100 lines. The 
disadvantage of these plug-ins lies in the fact that, up-to-now, they only 
work with Photoshop but not with other applications like Lightroom 
Aperture or other image editors. 

* In some cases, this might help to avoid 
banding and result in smoother gradients. 

See section 5.9 at page 159 for a description of 
this Canon plug-in. 

Printer Linearization and Calibration 

Canned profiles (those internally used by a printer driver)" and generic 
profiles (those provided by a printer manufacturer for its own papers or 
those offered by a paper or ink manufacturer for its papers or inks) assume 
a specific color behavior of a given printer line. This only works well when 
all printers of a line show very similar behavior. If, however, there are sig- 
nificant differences between your specific printer and the one used for pro- 
filing, the profile can't provide the best result. 

** Some new versions of printer drivers now 
offer a color management similar to that of 
Photoshop, where you can select a regular 
ICC profile that is installed in your systems 
profile directory. This, for a long time, was not 
possible with most printer drivers. 

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Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

* You need one of the spectrophotometers 

supported by this tool to do the re-calibration. 

(The Epson Color Base tool does not work with 

the R800/R1800 printers, however.) 

-> With thermal print heads used by Canon 

and HP, this is easier, as there is a large number 

of nozzles per print head and ink. 

The HPZ3100, for example, uses 1,056 nozzles 

per color/ink. 

Epson tries to compensate for this by explicitly linearizing each printer 
before it leaves the factory. The technology of the Epson print heads attains 
a very long head life with very little decrease over time. Additionally, Epson 
offers Epson Color Base, a tool to re-linearize your Epson printer.* You can 
download this free utility from: 

Another way to compensate for differences between individual print- 
ers of the same line is to do a nozzle clogging detection. Having such a 
detection mechanism for clogged nozzles allows the printer to initiate a 
nozzle- cleaning cycle or even to substitute for unrecoverable clogged noz- 
zles by firing other nozzles of the same ink. This technique, for instance, is 
used with the Epson Pro 11880, the Canon iPF6ioo and the HP B9180. 

The most elegant solution to this problem is to have a spectrophoto- 
meter integrated into the printer. This is a feature offered by HP's Z3100 
line. Supported by the calibration software that comes along with this 
printer, it allows you to generate custom profiles for your individual printer, 
ink and paper. The effort for this is a bit more than an automatic nozzle 
clogging detection and correction, however, it offers more opportunities. A 
somewhat simpler solution is a printer-integrated densitometer (measur- 
ing how much ink is laid down by a print head) and automatically compen- 
sating for variation in this. This is a feature, for instance, used by the Epson 
Pro 11880, Canon iPF6ioo, iPF 8100, and iPF 9100. 

Ways to Prevent Nozzle Clogging 

** Nevertheless, we recommend that you 

power on the printer once a week. This will 

start a nozzle-cleaning cycle. 

Nozzle clogging is one of the big hassles when working with inkjet printers 
and pigmented inks. But there are ways to reduce this problem. Some of 
them are generally applicable, while others depend on the printer you use. 

A general rule is to try to prevent dust from entering your printer and 
thus coming close to your print heads. Therefore, when not printing for a 
while, close the lid of your printer (with desktop printers) or cover your 
printer with a tarpaulin. 

As mentioned before, remove any paper dust before feeding paper to 
the printer. This is especially important when using cotton-based papers. 

Another point concerns whether to keep your printer powered-on or 
off when not printing for a while. With Epson's desktop printers (e.g., the 
R1900, or the R2400), it's preferable to power off the printer, as the print 
head will be parked in a position, where the head is covered. This prevents 
the ink in the nozzles from drying up and clogging the nozzles.** With the 
HP and Canon printers discussed here, it's better to keep the printer pow- 
ered on. This way the printers will run nozzle- cleaning cycles from time to 
time, thus preventing the nozzles from clogging. The ink used for these 
cycles is minimal and preferable to nozzle clogging in any case. Another 
point is the electric power consumed by this power-on state. The power 

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General Points on Fine Art Printers 


consumption in sleep mode differs from manufacturer to manufacturer 
and from model to model - and from printer generation to printer genera- 
tion and is steadily reduced by newer generations. 

Printer Life Cycles 

Manufacturers usually replace a printer line about every two years. Updates 
might be minor or major. Epson, for example, in 2002 came out with its first 
line of pigment-based printers: the Stylus 2000P, Stylus Pro 7500 and 9500. 
In 2004, the next generation followed consisting of the R2200, Pro 4000, 
Pro 7000, and Pro 8000. In 2006 the R2400, Pro 4800, Pro 7800 and Pro 
9800 replaced these lines. With this update, the new UltraChrome K3 ink 
set replaced the second generation of pigmented Epson inks. The big step 
forward was the usage of three different dilutions of black inks, improving 
the color gamut as well as reducing bronzing and metamerism. This, to a 
large extent, rendered superfluous the need to switch a third-party ink set 
in order to obtain good and neutral black-and-white prints. 

By the end of 2007, these Epson Pro lines were replaced 
by the Pro 4880, Pro 7880, Pro 9880, and the 64-inch printer 
Stylus Pro 1180 was added. Again, the ink set was improved 
by replacing Magenta with Vivid Magenta, extending the color 
gamut once more. Epson argues that with the 8 inks used in 
these lines, they can achieve very much the same gamut HP 
and Cannon achieve using 12 inks. We expect to see an update 
for the R2400 and R3800 in 2008, or early 2009 at the latest. 

Both Canon and HP entered the market for fine art print- 
ers using pigment-based inks only in 2006. Canon updated 
their first generation of pigmented inks quite soon. In 2007, 
Canon followed up its iPFsooo (17-inch printer, 12 Lucia pig- 
ment inks) with the iPF5ioo (17-inch printer, 12 Lucia II pig- 
ment inks), which uses its second generation of Lucia pig- 
ment inks. Canon also added a 24-inch printer (iPF6ioo) 
using the same technology, and a 44-inch (iPF8ooo) and 
60-inch printer (iPF90oo), both using 12 pigmented inks 
(Lucia). For Canon printers intended for fine art prints, we 
prefer the newer iPFsioo and iPF6ioo line with the second 
generation of pigment-based inks (called Lucia II pigment). 

In 2006, Hewlett Packard started out with the 13-inch B9180 using 
eight pigmented inks and the Z3100 (24-inch or 44-inch wide) using 12 
pigment inks. HP also has the Z2100 line (24-inch or 44-inch wide) that 
works with eight pigmented inks. The Z2100 produces fine color prints; for 
black-and-white prints, however, the Z3100 line yields better results - at 
least when using gloss or semi-gloss papers or one of the new Baryt papers 
described in appendix B.3. In 2008, HP replaced the Z3100 with the Z3200, 
introducing a number of minor, but nevertheless important improve- 

Figure A-2: Replacing Magenta with Vivid Magenta (with the 
new K3 ink set used by the Epson Pro 4880, 7880, 9880 and 
11880) slightly shifts the gamut towards saturated Cyan and 

extends the gamut in the saturated Magenta areas 
(on Epson Traditional Paper with the Pro 4800 and Pro 4880). 

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Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

But you can still build your own profiles, of 

There are some more inkjet printers using pigment-based inks. For 
example there is the Kodak EasyShare 5300 using 4 inks (C, M, Y, K), which 
is more of a good office printer than a fine art printer, and there is the 
Canon W6200 (also using 12 pigment-based inks). Additionally, there are 
the Canon iPF8oooS (44-inch) and iPF90oS (60-inch), both still using 8 
inks (Lucia pigment) but higher print speed. With HP there is the Z2100 
line using eight pigmented inks (both in a 24-inch and a 44-inch version). 
However, the support of all these latter printers by paper manufacturers 
concerning printer profiles and other information is very limited or non- 

With the printers mentioned here, the real life cycle of a printer natu- 
rally can be much longer than the 2-3 years mentioned above. With HP 
and Canon printers the user can even replace the print heads when quality 
declines. However, before replacing all six print heads, e.g., with a HP 
printer, you might consider replacing your printer, depending on the cost 
per head. Epson uses print heads with different technology and a very long 
durability. For Epson printers, head replacement should only be done by 
the Epson service. 

When upgrading to a new printer, your "old" printer can still be use- 
ful, e.g., for special inks like the multi-tone black-and-white inks, for test 
prints, or for special media. Keep in mind, however, that you will need new 
profiles when using different ink sets. 

You will find an open forum on Uwe's Internet site where a number of 
questions concerning fine art printing and appropriate printers are dis- 
cussed. You will often find an answer to your problems on that site and also 
put your own questions there: 

Figure A-3: 

The history of digital fine art 

printers is much younger 

than this old factory 

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A.2 Epson Fine Art Printers 


A.2 Epson Fine Art Printers 

Epson was the first company to create a complete line of professional and 
semi-professional printers, using only pigmented inks to allow for better 
longevity Epson still has the broadest range of pigment-based printers, 
starting with several entry-level printers: Stylus Photo R800, 8.5-inch (let- 
ter), Stylus Photo R1800 and R1900 (both 13-inch print width) and the Stylus 
Photo R2400 (also 13-inch). The Pro lines start with the Stylus Pro 3800 (a 
17-inch printer) and goes up to the 64-inch Pro 11880 with intermediate 
steps of Pro 4880, Pro 7880, and Pro 9880. 

In this chapter, we will cover the newest models, introduced mainly in 
2006/2700. Epson today (2008) has four major lines of ink sets for fine art 

► UltraChrome™ Hi-Gloss inks (consumer printers, e.g., Stylus Photo 
R800, R1800). The ink set consists of eight inks: Photo Black, Matte 
Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Red, Blue, and a Gloss Optimizer). 

The primary target of these printers is the amateur photographer. These 
inks are best used with Glossy and Semi-gloss RC papers. Black-and- 
white prints are not quite as good as with the next two ink sets men- 

► UltraChrome™ Hi- Gloss II inks (used with the Stylus Photo R1900). 
The ink set consists of 8 inks: Photo Black, Matte Black, Cyan, Magenta, 
Yellow, Red, Orange, and a Gloss Optimizer (thus substituting the blue 
ink of the Hi-Gloss I ink set with an orange ink). 

► UltraChrome™ K3 inks (professional and semi-professional market, 
e.g., R2400, R3800, R4800, R7800, R9800). The ink set consists of nine 
inks: Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, Light Light Black, Cyan, 
Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, Light Magenta. This set can be used with 
Glossy and Semi- Gloss or Luster papers (where Photo Black is used). 
With Semi-matte and Matte papers, Matte Black is used. 

► UltraChrome™ K3 inks with Vivid Magenta (up-to-now, professional 
market only: Pro 4880, 7880, 9880, 11880). This is the newest set of 
Epson inks for fine art printers. Vivid Magenta slightly extends the 
gamut of the inks, yielding a somewhat richer total gamut. While this 
might not be that important with most fine art prints - these colors are 
rare in nature -, it helps with the reproduction of some logos and poster 
prints displaying computer generated graphics and colors. 

We assume that by the end of 2008, all semiprofessional and profes- 
sional Epson printers that use pigment-based inks will use these type 
of inks. 

We assume, that in 2008 a new version of 
the R800 will also come out that will use this 
ink. It appears that Epson has positioned the 
R1900 as the replacement for the Ri8oo, and 
will stop the sale ofRi8oo. 

Figure A-4: Complete UltraChrome K3 ink set 
(220 ml cartridges for the Pro 4880, 7880, or 9880) 

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Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

-> Early 2oo8, the R1800 was followed up by 

the R1900, featuring the 2 nd generation of 

UltraChrome™ Hi-Gloss inks (called Hi-Gloss II). 

Figure As: Epson Stylus Photo R800 
(Courtesy Epson Europe) 

Epson Stylus Photo R800 / R1800 

Inks: These entry-level printers feature the same ink set (Epson 

UltraChrome™ Hi- Gloss, 8 inks) using pigmented inks: 
Photo Black, Matte Black, Gloss Optimizer, 
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Red, Blue 

These printers simultaneously use only 6 inks (plus, option- 
ally, the Gloss Optimizer). Photo Black and Matte Black are 
used for glossy and matte papers, respectively The use of the 
Gloss Optimizer, targeted on High-gloss, Gloss, Semi-gloss 
and Luster papers, is optional. 

sets: 8 single inks/cartridges, 13 ml each. 

Printing Technology: Eight-Channel MicroPiezo print heads. 
Head replacement has to be done by Epson service. 

Print Width and Paper Specs: 

R800: 8.5 inch / A4 (up to 1.2 mm), cut sheet or roll 
R1800: 13 inch / A3+ (up to 1.2 mm), cut sheet or roll 

Interface: USB 2 (HiSpeed) + Fire Wire (IEEE 1394) 

Special features: Print directly on inkjet printable CD/DVDs 

Drivers: Standard drivers are provided for Windows (2000, XP, Vista) 
as well as Mac OS X (PPC + Intel). 

introduced 2008 Epson Stylus Photo R1900 


Epson UltraChrome™ Hi- Gloss II, 8 pigment-based inks: 
Photo Black, Matte Black, Gloss Optimizer, 
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Red, Orange 

Ink sets: 8 single inks/cartridges, 13 ml each. 

Printing Technology: Eight- Channel MicroPiezo print heads. 
Head replacement has to be done by Epson service. 

Print Width and Paper Specs: 13 inch / A3+ (up to 1.2 mm), cut 
sheet or roll 

Interface: USB 2 (HiSpeed) + Fire Wire (IEEE 1394) 

This printer will probably completely replace the R1800 in the near 

Figure A-6: Epson Stylus Photo R1900 (Courtesy Epson Europe) 

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A.2 Epson Fine Art Printers 


Printing with the Epson Stylus Photo R800/R1800 

The R1800 and R800 are entry-level fine art printers using only six true 
colors. The Photo Black and Matte Black are used for glossy and 
matte papers, respectively So, for a single print, only one is used. 

Gloss Optimizer is not true ink. It controls colors 
by improving the glossy appearance of your print. It 
produces less bronzing and gloss differential. Unless 
printing on very glossy media, you may not need the 
Gloss Optimizer at all. In any case, test-print your 
papers both with and without Gloss Optimizer. 

Note: Because R1800 and R800 only use a single black 
ink these printers are not an ideal choice for photogra- 
phers who want excellent black-and-white prints. These 
printers may, however, for some images produce nice, 
black-and-white prints, in spite of this apparent flaw. 
Epson's semi-professional model R2400 is a better 
choice for optimal black-and-white prints, 

Driver Settings Recommendations 

Figure A-7: Epson Stylus Photo R1800 
(Courtesy of Epson America Inc.) 

What is covered here is not intended to replace your 
printer's manual. As usual, we assume you do all your 
color management inside the printing application (e.g., 

Paper selection • Most users choose 
single- sheet feeding with this printer 
(from the paper tray). When using 
roll stock, select it at this time. 

Paper Type • Try to make 
a very close match here. If 
you use a third party paper, 
you will have to guess which 
Epson paper would be right. 

Print Quality • The available quality 
settings will depend on the paper used. 
The highest- quality setting is Photo 
RPM (RPM stands for Resolution Per- 
formance Management), and this selection often pro 
duces the best results at a price of speed and ink. Often, 
a lower- quality setting may produce results close to maximum quality, but 
requiring less ink and resulting in faster printing time. We usually use "Best 

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Figure A-8: Epson R1800: Main print driver dialog 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

■ 14*1* 
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Paper Size • Most often you will find your paper size listed. But, in some 
cases you may also need to create a custom size. Select "User Defined" and 
follow the instructions. 

Orientation • Choose whatever is needed: Landscape or Portrait mode. 

- Orientation - 
r Portrait 

(* Landscape 

Print Options 

Gloss: Use only for highly glossy media 
High S peed : Uncheck this option for best quality 
Edge Smoothing: Deactivate for fine art photos 
Print Preview: We normally turn it off. 
Be aware that preview colors may look incor- 
rect, because they are not color managed. 

■Print Options 

Reverse Order 

|~~ Gloss 
|~~ High Speed 
|~~ Edge Smoothing 
Print Preview 


Saved Settings 

In most printing, you use only a small number of different papers, with few 
variations in their settings. Having found the proper settings for a certain 
type of print job and paper, you can save current settings and recall them 
much more quickly later on. This practice also helps avoid costly mistakes 
(ink, paper and time). 

Color Management in the Printer Driver 

With the R1800 and R800 we always turn printer 
CM off, and do the profile selection and color con- 
trol inside Photoshop. The dialog of the printer 
driver settings shows exactly how. 

Ink Monitor 


Figure A-g: Ink-low warning 

With Epson printers, we print until we see an ink-low warning. When you 
get this message, make sure you have a replacement ink cartridge available 
because the printer will soon be out of ink, and some printers will stop 

Maintenance Tools 

Most printer sets include some maintenance tools. With most Epson print- 
ers, the maintenance application may be called up from the printer driver 
interface. It offers some useful functions (see figure A-10 on page 231): 

Status Monitor • Shows the ink level dialog (see figure A-9). 

Downloaded from: 

A.2 Epson Fine Art Printers 


Nozzle Check and Cleaning • Select this when you have not 
used the printer for some days. Check for banding or missing 
colors. Be aware that this procedure consumes ink. 

Nozzle Check (manual) / Head Cleaning (manual) • Use 

these only when you feel there is a major problem. Again, Head 
Cleaning will consume quite a bit of ink. 

Print Head Alignment • Perform when you see banding. 

Printer and Option Information • We rarely use these 
options. Check your manual when you think you may need 





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interface by selecting tab Maintenance. 


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Figure A-n: 

Printer information. You may 

activate "Thick paper" here. 

Manufacturer-Provided Profiles for R800/R1800 

Epson provides quite good generic profiles for their own papers. You can 
further improve color fidelity by using custom-made ones. Most profiles 
come specifically targeted to certain print quality settings. Check that your 
choice of profile (in the client application, e.g., Photoshop) matches your 
print quality settings (Photo, Best Photo, Photo RPM). 

Note: With the R8oo, some profiles showed some "smudging." Check 
for more details in our R8oo review [42], which is written in a diary 
style, and which we update periodically. 

Figure A-n: 
Profiles provided by Epson 

for the R1800 

AL5PR1300 D- 5 Matte Paper. icrn 
AL5PR1300 Enhanced Matte. icrn 
AL5PR1800 Matte Paper- HW.icm 
AL5PR1800 Photo Qlty UP. icrn 
AL5PR1800 Premium Glossy. icrn 
AL5PR1300 Premium Luster. icrn 
^5PR1800 Premium 5emigloss.icm 
AL5PR1800 Velvet Fine Art. icrn 
iL5PR1800 WC Paper - RW.icm 
3 5PR1800_Dbl5DMtte_BestPhoto.icc 
3 5PR1800_EnhMtte_BestPhoto.icc 
2 5PR1800_EnhMtte_Photo.icc 
« 5PR 1 800_MtteH vy Wt_BestPhoto . ice 

2 5PR1800_MtteHvyWt_Photo.icc 

3 5PR 1 800_Mtte5crapbk_BestPhoto . ice 
^) 5PR1800_Mtte5crapbk_Photo.icc 

^) 5PR1800_PrmGlsy_Photo.icc 

^] 5PR1800_PrmGlsy_PhotoRPM.icc 

/■) 5PR1800_PrmLstr_Photo.icc 

^ 5PR1800_PrmLstr_PhotoRPM.icc 

^ 5PR1800_Prm5emgls_Photo.icc 

2 5PR1800_Prm5emgls_PhotoRPM.icc 

^ 5PR 1 800_Ultr5mth_Wtrclr_BestPhoto . ice 

*3 5PR 1 800_Ultr5mth_Wtrclr_Photo . ice 

^) 5PR 1 800_Vel vtFne Art_BestPhoto . ice 

^] 5PR1800_VelvtFneArt_Photo.icc 

/«) 5PR 1 800_WtrclrRd Wht_BestPhoto . ice 

aL 5PR 1 800_WtrclrRd Wht_Photo . icrn 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

-> By the end of 2007 the Pro 4800, 7800, 

and 9800 were followed up by the new 

Pro 4880, 7880, 9880, and the 11880 line. 

* There is no Gloss Optimizer with these 

printers, as Epson argues that the new ink 

formulas do not require it. On high-gloss 

papers, however, a slight gloss difference can 

be seen between blank paper and printed 

areas. To avoid this, you may use Photoshop 

Curves to somewhat lower your highlights, 

thus ensuring that some ink is applied to all 


-* The handling of the Epson R2400 is 

described in much detail in section 5.7. 

Printing using the Advanced 

Black and White mode with the R2400 is 

described in section 73. 

Figure A-13: Epson Stylus 4800 (Courtesy Epson Germany) 

Epson Stylus Photo R2400 / Pro 4800 / Pro 7800 / Pro 9800 

Inks: All four printers feature the same ink set (Epson UltraChrome™ 

K3, 9 inks) using pigmented inks:* 

Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, Light Light Black, 
Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light Magenta, Yellow 

These printers simultaneously use only eight inks out of the 
nine. Photo Black and Matte Black are used for glossy and 
matte papers, respectively Unfortunately, it is required to 
switch the Matte Black ink for Photo Black ink when switching 
from matte to glossy media and vice versa. This procedure costs 
time and ink, and on the Pro printer line (4800/7800/9800) a 
substantial amount of ink (ink worth about $70 is used up for 
every change of black inks). 

All four printers have three different blacks available at any 
one time (Photo or Matte Black, Light Black, and Light Light 
Black) allowing them to produce very good black-and-white 
prints with a highly neutral look and smooth gradients. 

Ink sets: 9 single ink cartridges, only 8 online simultaneously 
R2400: 13 ml each 

Pro 4800, 7800, 9800: 110 or 220 ml each 

Printing Technology: Eight- Channel MicroPiezo print heads. 
Head replacement has to be done by Epson service. 

Print Width and Paper Specs: The four printers each allow for different 
maximum print widths: 

R2400: 13 inch (up to 1.2 mm) 
Pro 4800: 17 inch (up to 1.5 mm) 
Pro 7800: 24 inch (up to 1.5 mm) 
Pro 9800: 44 inch (up to 1.5 mm) 

All of them allow for borderless prints (using cut-sheet paper) 
up to their maximum print width and allow for cut- sheet feed- 
ing (including a cut- sheet tray). They also come with a roll- 
feeder and a paper cutter (the cutter is missing with the 

R2400: USB-2 (HiSpeed) + Fire Wire 

Pro 4800, 7800, 9800: USB-2 (HiSpeed) + LAN 

(Ethernet 10/ 100Base-TX). 

Standard drivers are provided for Windows (2000, XP, Vista) 
as well as Mac OS X (PPC + Intel). 



Special features: All printer drivers offer an advanced black-and-white 

Downloaded from: 

A.2 Epson Fine Art Printers 


Epson Stylus Pro 3800 

Introduced in autumn 2006. 


This printer features the same ink type (Epson UltraChrome™ 
K3, 9 inks) using pigmented inks as the R2400, and the Pro 4800, 
Pro 7800, and Pro 9800). No Gloss Optimizer is used: 
Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, Light Light Black, 
Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light Magenta, Yellow 

Ink sets: 

It allows, however, for 9 inks in the printer at the same time, 
but uses only 8 inks with a single print, switching auto- 
matically between Photo Black and Matte Black, depend- 
ing on the paper setting. Here, it deviates from 
the R2400, and the Pro 4800, Pro 7800, 
and Pro 9800. But it has to clear out the 
previous black ink when switching, as the 
print head (there is only one) can only 
accommodate eight inks. With this printer, how- 
ever, only very little inks is needed for this switch. 

A new screening is used (compared to the R2400, and the 
Pro 4800, Pro 7800, and Pro 9800) using a maximum resolu- 
tion of 2880 x 1440 dpi. It is the same screening that is used 
with the Epson Pro 4880, 7880, 9880, and Pro 11880 printers. 

9 single ink cartridges of 80 ml each 
(all 9 can be inserted simultaneously) 

Figure A-14: Fpson Stylus Pro 3800 (Courtesy Epson Germany) 

-> You will find a very elaborated report on 
printing with the Epson Pro 3800 by Giorgio 
Trucco in our "Printing Insights #45" at: 
pio 45/ essay. html 

Printing Technology: MicroPiezo AMC (8-channel) print head, variable 
drop size down to 3.5 pL. 

Print Width and Paper Specs: 17 inch / A2 (up to 1.5 mm). 

Paper feed: Sheet feed, no optional roll feeder available 

Interface: USB-2 (HiSpeed) + LAN (Ethernet 10/iooBase-TX). 

Drivers: Standard drivers are provided for Windows as well as Mac 

Special features: Same advanced black-and-white print mode as all of the 
Epson printers mentioned here 

This is a very nice printer, providing perfect printing quality. The printer is 
excellent and a good value for the money, especially considering its maxi- 
mum print width of 17 inches (A2). The large volume of its ink cartridges 
also offer a better price performance concerning inks (compared to the 
R2400). What's missing is the possibility to use a roll feeder. If you need 
that, you will have to use the Epson Pro 4480, which also gives you the 
choice between 110 ml and 220 ml ink cartridges. 

pi = pi co I iter, or io~ 12 liters 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

introduced 2007 Epson Stylus Pro 4880 / 7880 / 9880 


* There is no Gloss Optimizer with these 

printers, as Epson argues that the K3 ink 

formula does not require Gloss Optimizer. 

Figure A-15: Epson Stylus Pro 4880 (Courtesy Epson Germany) 

Ink sets: 

All three printers feature the same ink type (Epson Ultra- 
Chrome™ K3, 9 inks), using pigmented inks. The new genera- 
tion of UltraChrome K3 inks includes a "Vivid Magenta" 
replacing the standard Magenta of the previous line (R2400, 
and the Pro 3800, 4800, 7800, 9800):' 
Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, Light Light Black, 
Cyan, Light Cyan, (Vivid) Magenta, Light Magenta, Yellow 

These printers simultaneously use only eight inks. Photo Black 
and Matte Black are used for glossy and matte papers, respec- 
tively. It is required to switch the Matte Black ink for Photo 
Black ink when switching from matte to glossy media and vice 
versa. This switch on the Pro printer line uses a substantial 
amount of ink (about $70 is used up for every change). 

These printers have three different blacks available at any 
one time, Photo or Matte Black, Light Black and Light Light 
Black, allowing them to produce very good black-and-white 
prints with a highly neutral look and smooth gradients. 

A new (compared to the 4800, 7800, 9800 line) screening is 
used with a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi. It is the 
same screening that is used with the Epson Pro 3800. 
Additionally, the print heads have an ink repelling coating. 

9 single ink cartridges of either 110 ml or 220 ml, 
only 8 online simultaneously 

Printing Technology: Eight- Channel MicroPiezo® AMC™ Print Head with 
Ink Repelling Coating Technology; variable drop size down to 
3.5 pi. 

Print Width and Paper Specs: The three printers each allow for a different 
maximum print width: 
Pro 4880: 17 inch (up to 1.5 mm) 
Pro 7880: 24 inch (up to 1.5 mm) 
Pro 9880: 44 inch (up to 1.5 mm) 

All of them allow for borderless prints (using cut-sheet paper) 
up to their maximum print width and allow for cut- sheet feed- 
ing (including a cut- sheet tray) and come with a roll- feeder and 
a paper cutter. 

Interface: USB -2 (HiSpeed) + LAN interface (Ethernet 10/iooBase-TX). 

Drivers: Standard drivers for Windows as well as Mac OS X. There are 
16 -bit drivers available (up to now only for Mac OS X). 

Special features: Advanced black-and-white mode. 

Downloaded from: 

A.2 Epson Fine Art Printers 


Epson Stylus Pro 11880 

Introduced 2007 

Inks: This printer uses the same ink type (Epson 

UltraChrome™ K3, 9 inks) as the new Pro 
4880, 7880 and 9880 lines. This new gen- 
eration of UltraChrome K3 inks includes a 
"Vivid Magenta" replacing the standard 
Magenta of the previous line. 
Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, 
Light Light Black, 

Cyan, Light Cyan, (Vivid) Magenta, Light 
Magenta, Yellow 

No Gloss Optimizer is used as Epson argues that the 

. t r t j !jL TT 1., jl1 Figure A-16: Epson Stylus Pron88o (Courtesy Epson Europe) 

new ink formulas do not require it. Unlike some other 

printers of this line, this printer can have all nine inks 

placed in it, but also uses only Photo Black or Matte Black in a 

single print. It uses the same screening as the Pro 3800, 4880, 

7880, or 9880, allowing a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440 

dpi. The print heads have an ink-repelling coating. 

Ink sets: 9 single ink cartridges of 700 ml each. 

Printing Technology: Eight-Channel MicroPiezo® TFP™ Print Head with 
Ink Repelling Coating Technology (one 8-channel print head 
for all colors); variable drop size down to 3.5 pi. 

Print Width and Paper Specs: 64 inch (up to 1.5 mm) 

The printer allows for borderless prints up to 54 inches in 
width. The printer allows for cut- sheet feeding and includes a 
cut- sheet tray. The Pro 11880 also comes with a roll-feeder and 
a paper cutter. 

Interface: USB -2 (Hi-Speed) + LAN interface (Ethernet 10/100/1000 

Drivers: Standard drivers are provided for Windows (XP, Vista (32/64 
bit) as well as Mac OS X. There are 16 -bit drivers available (up 
to now only for Mac OS X). 

Special features: Advanced black-and-white mode, 

This is the high-end of the Epson line. The Pro 11880 not only allows for very 
large print formats but also uses large ink cartridges, allowing you to replace 
an ink cartridge while printing. This printer, complemented by a good RIP 
like ColorByte's ImagePrint, can be the ideal printer for a commercial print 
service. If provides very high printing speed (e.g., 42:10 min. for a 40" x 6o M 
print at the highest resolution). 

^ In 2008, Epson Introduced two new tine 
art printers: 

- The 24-Inch Stylus Pro 7900 and 

- The 44-inch Stylus Pro 9900 

Both printers use eleven K3 HDR pigment inks, 
and ar capable of installing Photo Black and 
Matte Black simultaneously. In addition to 
the inks used by the Stylus Pro 11880, these 
two printers also use Orange and Green inks 
to yield and even larger gamut of colors. 
This extended gamut helps when proofing 
Pantone colors or when you are making 
flexographic prints. The ink cartridges are 
available in capacities of 150ml, 350ml, 
or 700ml. Both new printers include a 
spectrometer option for calibration and 
profiling. All other printing techniques are 
similar to those we used with the Pro 11880. 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

A.3 Canon's Fine Art Printers 

As mentioned before, Canon is one of the big three companies supplying 
pigment-based fine art printers. While there was an early version of a Canon 
printer using pigmented inks (WG620), the real market entry only came in 

2006 when Canon announced a number of new printers for this market. 
The entry-level printer is the PIXMA Pro 9500 using 10 pigmented inks. The 
professional line started with the iPFsooo (a 17-inch, 12 inks) printer that in 

2007 was followed up with the iPF5ioo and iPF6ioo models. 

With these two new printers, Canon introduced a second generation 
of pigmented inks. The new formula for the blacks achieves less bronzing 
and lower metamerism. 

There are also two large format variations of the fine art printer line. 
They are the iPF8ioo, a 44-inch printer, and the iPF9ioo, a 60-inch printer, 
both using 12 pigmented Lucia II inks. They replace the former iPF8ooo 
and iPF 9000 versions that still use Lucia I pigment inks. 

Canon also added two further fast workhorse versions of these two 
lines. These are the iPF8oooS and the iPF90ooS. Both use only eight Lucia 
I pigmented inks. In 2008, Canon introduced the 44-inch imagePROGRAF 
iPF8ioo and 60-inch imagePROGRAF iPF9ioo printers. Both printers use 
12 separate 330ml or 700ml ink cartridges of the same Lucia II type used in 
the iPF6ioo. 

Like Epson and Hewlett Packard, Canon offers a number of fine art 
papers for its pigment-based printers. These papers, as said in appendix B, 
are the easiest to use when starting with fine art printing using a Canon 
printer. Up to now, the support of Canon printers by third-party paper 
manufacturers concerning the offering of ICC profiles has not been as 
good as has been for the Epson and HP printers mentioned here. This, 
however, is going to change over time. 

Figure A-v: 

The Canon iPFgwo. This 60-inch printer uses 12 

Lucia pigment inks. 

(Photo courtesy of Canon Germany) 

Downloaded from: 

A3 Canon's Fine Art Printers 


Canon PIXMA Pro9500 

Introduced in 2006 

Inks: The printer uses 10 Lucia pigmented inks, 

but only nine with a single print. It switches 
automatically between Photo Black and Matte 
Black, depending on the paper setting, but 
has only one additional light black ink. There 
is no Gloss Optimizer: 
Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, 
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Red, Green, Light 
Magenta (PM), Light Cyan (PC) 

Ink sets: 10 single inks, 16 ml each. 

Printing Technology: Thermal Bubblejet print heads, 
Up to 4800 x 1200 dpi printing resolution, 

3 pi- Figure A-18: Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 (Courtesy Canon) 

Print Width and Paper Specs: 13 inch (cut- sheet up to 13" x 19"), also bor- 
derless; up to 1.2 mm paper. 

Interface: USB -2 + Direct Print Port. 

Drivers: Standard drivers are provided for Windows (2000, XP, Vista) 
as well as Mac OS X (PPC + Intel). There is a special black-and- 
white mode. 

Special features: Photoshop plug-in for direct printing from Photoshop. 
Can print on suitable CDs/DVDs. 

This is a nice, entry-level 13-inch printer using pigmented inks. It can do 
good black-and-white prints, but having only two dilutions of black ink, it 
can't provide quite the same quality as the 12-ink versions of Canon printers 
(e.g., the iPF6ioo). Like the Epson R2400 (using 13 ml cartridges) and the 
HP B9180 (using 28 ml cartridges), inks will be more expensive per print 
than using one of the larger printers that use more voluminous ink car- 
tridges. Being a good, but still an entry-level printer, it is not as well sup- 
ported by third-party paper suppliers as the iPFsioo or iPF6ioo. (Even the 
Epson R2400 is much better supported). One reason for this might be that 
there are obviously large variations from individual printers of this line 
coming out of the factory and there is no densitometer feature for this 
printer. Thus providing good generic profiles is harder for this printer. 

However, if you are tight on budget and do not intend to print very 
much, this printer can be a good choice and we saw some really nice prints 
coming from our PIXMA Pro 9500. 

In 2009, Canon replaced the PIXMA Pro 9500 with the PIXMA Pro 
9500 Mark II. The new printer is faster than its predecessor and still uses 
the same type of Lucia pigment inks as the earlier version. 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

introduced in 2007 Canon imagePROGRAF iPF5100/6100 

-* The iPF5ioo replaces the 1PF5000 that was Inks: 
still being sold in early 2008. 

* This will initiate a nozzle-cleaning cycle. If 

the nozzle remains obstructed, the printer will 

automatically compensate by re-routing the 

ink to functioning nozzles. 

These printers use 12 pigmented inks (type Lucia II). The print- 
ers will automatically switch between Photo Black (here called 
Regular Black) and Matte Black when printing, depending on 
the paper used (set in the driver settings). No Gloss Optimizer 
is used: 

Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black (Gray), Light Light Black 
(Photo Gray), Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light Magenta, 
Yellow, Red, Green, Blue 

Ink sets: 12 single cartridges, 130 ml each 

Printing Technology: 2 thermal print heads (6 inks each) 

Heads can be replaced by the user. Up to 2 400 x 1200 dpi print- 
ing resolution using a droplet size of 4 pi. 

Print Width and Paper Specs: 

iPF5ioo: 17 inch (cut-sheet and roll), also borderless 

iPF6ioo: 24 inch (cut-sheet and roll), also borderless 

0.08-0.8 mm paper, top-loading; 0.5-1.5 mm, front loading roll 

Interface: USB-2 + LAN (Ethernet 10/iooBase-TX), Fire Wire optional 

Drivers: Standard drivers are provided for Windows (2000, XP, Vista) 
compatibility as well as Mac OS X. There is a special black-and- 
white mode. 

Special features: Integrated densitometer to do a re-linearization; 
Photoshop plug-in for direct printing; 
Automatic detection of clogged or non-firing nozzles/ 

Figure A-19: 

Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6ioo 

(Courtesy Canon USA) 

Downloaded from: 

A3 Canon's Fine Art Printers 


Printing with the Canon iPF6100 

The iPF6ioo is Canons second-generation pigment-based professional 
printer. In many aspects it has inherited properties from the iPFsooo but 
there are some new and improved features to look at: 

► 24 inch (that is 7 inches wider than the iPFsooo/sioo) 

► It uses new formulas for its black inks in order to reduce bronzing 

► Calibration feature 

Installation • Installation takes time but is well documented. The printer 
comes in two basic components: The stand (see figure A-21) and the actual 
printer. Additionally, there is the set of print heads and ink cartridges (figure 
A-22) that have to be installed. 

Figure A-22: 

Installing two heads and 12 inks 

Note: The heads are quite expensive (more about the head warranty can be 
found at http://canonipfsooo. wikispaces. com/iPFswo-\-Printhead-\- Warranty) . 
The first 12 ink cartridges are not 130 ml but hold 90 ml, instead. As 
much as this may be disappointing the 12 cartridges still hold a lot of ink. 
Also the Canon iPF printers seem to be quite frugal in their use of inks. 

Software • Installing the software was very easy on our Mac Pro (Intel 
Quad Mac). We connected the printer via USB 2.0 to our primary worksta- 
tion and used the Ethernet LAN interface to hook up our additional sys- 
tems. A description of the Photoshop plug-in, available for Photoshop CS2 
as well as Photoshop CS3 (these are two different versions), is given in sec- 
tion 5.9 at page 159. 


One complaint about the iPFsooo was that there were too many variations 
between individual printers. This makes canned and generic profiles close 
to useless. The iPF6ioo now features a densitometer to linearize the printer. 
Canon claims that after calibration (linearization) the maximum color dif- 
ference is about 2.0 Delta-E. (E is a measure for the distance between two 
colors in the Lab color space. Delta-E here is the delta between the color it 
should have and the color it actually has. A Delta-E of 2.0 (maximum) is 
very good and not obvious to the human eye. 

We have right now no way to verify this, but think that a calibration 
feature is a must for printers using thermo heads (HP and Canon). 

Figure A-20: Canon iPF6ioo in Uwe's print 

Figure A-21: Fhe Canon printer stand 
(seems very solid) 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

mm m m - mmmmmmmmu 


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Figure A-23: Calibration Chart generated by 
the driver and used to linearize the printer 

The calibration we did was performed using the Canon Premium 
Heavyweight Matte paper. 

There are some obvious questions concerning calibration: How often 
should we calibrate and when is calibration mandatory? You will find some 
answers to this in the printer's manual that comes along with the printer 
on a CD. You should re-calibrate: 

► After initial installation 

► After replacing a print head 

► If colors seem different from before. However, make sure you are print- 
ing under the same conditions and in the same printing environment. 

► When consistent color is desired from multiple printers. In this case, 
also use the same version of firmware and printer driver and the same 

Using the Driver 

Here we show the central dialogs for the Macintosh. The most important 
settings are defined in the Main tab of the driver. 

Figure A-24: 
Main settings in the printer driver 


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Downloaded from: 

A3 Canon's Fine Art Printers 



Here are some notes on the various tabs of the printer 

► "Get Information" is a nice feature because it reads 
the info from the printer about the currently loaded 
paper, size, and feed. 

► Behind Color ►Set... you will find the very impor- 
tant Color Settings dialog (figure A- 25). 

We always use Application Managed Colors (in Photoshop) 
- at least for all color prints. This implies that all printer 
color corrections have to be turned off in the printer 
driver (see figure A- 25). We would prefer this control to 
be either in the Main tab of the driver or in the Color 
Settings section. The way it is now, this setting is some- 
what hidden and you have to use at least two mouse clicks to see the settings 
in the driver. In practice though, this is not too bad because we use driver 
presets on the Mac and recommend doing the same on Windows. 

There are also some important settings in the Vage Setup 
tab (see figure A- 26), where you will find the settings for: 

--' my Jjwfli 


( Cwcd ') 

Figure A-25: Color Management (in the driver) set to "No Corrections" 

Printer: iPftlOO 

► Media Source (make sure it is correct). 

► Print Centered 

► Sometimes "Rotate Page 90 degrees" 

► Print Scaling 

Note: We can't understand why getting custom paper 
sizes (especially the landscape and portrait orientations) 
is often so complicated. But we fight with these settings all 
the time. 

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Figure A-26: Page Setup tab of the iPF6ioo driver 

Figure A-27: 

Printer Information and Utility 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

The iPF6ioo driver provides a lot of useful information, e.g., on the ink 
status and the paper (figure A-28) as well as on the calibration (figure A-29). 

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Figure A-29: Calibration information 

Figure A-30: Mechanism for the roll feeding of 
the Canon iPF6ioo 

Printing Experience 

As mentioned before, we print often from Lightroom. The presets in 
Lightroom make our life easier than in Photoshop, as you can put more 
parameter settings into Lightroom's presets. 

Single Sheet Feeding • Sheet-feeding works fine (we tested up to 308 gram 
papers). We don't like the facts that the single sheet falls into a basket, though 
we could not detect any damage. 

Roll Feeding • The motorized roll feeding works as one would expect, and 
there is nothing to complain about. 

Printing on glossy media • We printed on Canon Heavyweight Glossy 
and Heavyweight Satin paper from a roll and used Canons generic profiles 
for this. Our printer evaluation image looks good on glossy media. We could 
not detect any disturbing bronzing. 

Dmax • We measured a Dmax of 2.1 for Canon Heavyweight Satin paper. 
This is a fine value, and overall the images look good. Using a Harman Gloss 
FB AI paper, we even achieved a Dmax of about 2.35. Printing on Hahnemuehle 
Photo Rag we measured a Dmax of 1.58. This is a good value for this matte 

Note: There were some discussions about the Dmax value for Hahnemuehle 
Photo Rag. As we recall, Epson's papers achieved about 1.60-1.64, and that 
was considered good. HP papers achieved a Dmax of about 1.70, and that is 
excellent. We will try to explore how to enhance Dmax. However, we found 
our evaluation image on Photo Rag very nice for a matte paper. If we want 
rich, deep blacks we use the new Baryta papers with Photo Black. 

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A3 Canon's Fine Art Printers 


Black-and-white prints • We love the black-and-white prints on glossy 
media. They are very neutral (using the Canon canned profiles). We encoun- 
tered hardly any bronzing and no metamerism. 

Note: When printing on the new Harman Gloss FB AL paper the prints 
look excellent. We have to play a bit with the head height, though, because 
otherwise we get very faint head scratches that can only be seen under a 
certain angle to the light. 

Printing on Fine Art Papers • We think the generic profiles that come 
with the iPF6ioo are too generic for fine art papers. We cannot imagine that 
papers like Hahnemuehle Photo Rag, Somerset Velvet or other rag papers 
should only be covered by one set of profiles. Therefore, we produced our 
own custom profiles using EyeOne Match and achieved very good results 
with them. In some ways we think that photographers using printers of this 
class also need to invest into a decent profiling tool, and EyeOne Photo is an 
excellent solution/ 

Bronzing • In 2006 we wrote about the iPFsooo: "There is some slight 
bronzing visible but really needs a close inspection. We personally don t find 
this to be a problem even for prints that are in an open portfolio. Otherwise 
the black-and-white prints looked excellent and we did not find any objection- 
able metamerism." 

This was written before we tested the HP Z3100 and the Epson Pro 3800. 
Today, we would be more critical. Actually, while the bronzing was not too 
bad for a first generation pigment based printer, it was clearly one of the 
major shortcomings of the iPFsooo. As we all know, better is the enemy of 
good. And the Z3100 and Pro 3800 are clearly better. 

This was the iPFsooo, and to our great surprise (before using the 
iPF 6100, we were not sure what to think about Canon's marketing claims) 
the iPF6ioo improved a lot in terms of bronzing. In some ways, we think 
we can forget bronzing with the iPF6ioo. It is so faint that it is quite aca- 
demic to even talk about it. We really have to congratulate Canon for solv- 
ing bronzing by just changing the black inks. 

Paper Naming • It seams that there are so many papers out there that 
manufacturers get confused. There are actually at least four places where the 
paper name plays a role: 

A. Printer setup (load) 

B. Driver 

C. Profile file names 

D. Internal names of the profiles (shown in Photoshop and other applica- 

We miss a consistent naming here like Satin or Soft Gloss. What does 
Heavyweight mean in grams? 

* Read our review on EyeOne Photo at 


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244 Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

Notes on Photo Black and Matte Black Installed at the Same Time 

It was always annoying to switch inks on a printer. But in the past there were 
actually three fractions of users: 

1. Those mainly using glossy media (RC papers) 

2. Users that mainly use fine art papers like Photo Rag 

3. Users using both kinds of papers 

The third group was often only the professional printing services and they 
solved the dilemma by using multiple printers. However, with the new fiber- 
based papers (we want to mention especially the new Harman Gloss FB AL) 
even the photographers of group 2 may want to switch between fine art 
papers and the new fiber papers. This makes it essential to have both Matte 
Black and Photo Black installed simultaneously. It is still better when the 
printer provides print heads that can cover both versions of black, and do 
not have to rinse the print head when switching (as is the case with all Epson 
printers mentioned here where you have to rinse the heads after switching). 


We think this printer is a big step forward from the iPFsooo. The new inks 
really deliver excellent quality. So far, using the iPF6ioo is a pleasure. We 
don't want to sound like "new = great", but we have to say what we find and 
we know the competing printers very well. We also discuss our prints with 
some of our editorial members who all have long printing experience. The 
quality level of these large format printers have improved quite a bit since 
the beginning of 2006. 

Figure A-31: 

The Canon iPF6wo is as fast as this artist 
playing with tire, and it's fun printing with it. 

4*- CI / JM 

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A3 Canon's Fine Art Printers 


Canon imagePROGRAF JPF8100 / 9100 

Inks: These printers use 12 pigmented inks (type Lucia II). The print- 

ers will automatically switch between Photo Black (here called 
Regular Black) and Matte Black when printing, depending on 
the paper used (set in the driver setting). No Gloss Optimizer 
is used with these printers: 
Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black (Gray), 
Light Light Black (Photo Gray), 
Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light Magenta, 
Yellow, Red, Blue, Green 

Ink sets: 12 single inks, 330 ml or 700 ml per ink. 

Printing Technology: 2 thermal Bubble Jet print heads 
(6 inks each, 2,560 nozzles per ink) 
Heads can be replaced by the user. 
Up to 2400 x 1200 dpi printing resolution using a 
droplet size of 4 pi. 

Print Width and Paper Specs: 

iPF8ioo: 44 inch (cut-sheet and roll), also borderless up to 42" 
iPF9ioo: 60 inch (cut-sheet and roll), also borderless up to 42" 
0.07-0.8 mm media 

Interface: USB -2 + LAN (Ethernet 10/iooBase-TX), Fire Wire optional 

Drivers: Standard drivers are provided for Windows (2000, XP, Vista 
32/64 bit) compatibility as well as Mac OS X. There is a special 
black-and-white mode. Photoshop plug-in for direct printing. 

Special features: Ink cartridges can be replaced while printing; integrated 
color calibration to do a re-linearization; Automatic detection 
of clogged or non-firing nozzles. This will initiate the nozzle- 
cleaning cycle. If the nozzle remains obstructed, the printer 
will automatically compensate by re-routing the ink to func- 
tioning nozzles. Integrated 80 GB hard drive. 

These two printers are the top line of Canons fine art printers, directly com- 
peting with the Epson Pro 11880. Canon also offers the iPF8oooS (44-inch) 
and iPF90ooS (60-inch). Both printers are high-speed printers using 8 pig- 
mented Lucia inks, and allow a maximum print resolution of 2400 x 1200 
dpi. For fine art prints, however, we would prefer to stay with the 12 ink 

Introduced in early 2008, replacing the 
former iPF8ooo and iPF9000 that used Lucia I 
pigment inks. 

Figure A-32: Canon iPF8wo 
(Courtesy Canon Germany) 

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Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 

Figure A-33: HP Z2100 (Courtesy Hewlett Packard). 
Fhis printer uses 8 pigmented inks. 

We covered those swellable paper in the 
first edition of this book. 

In 2006 Hewlett Packard introduced three new lines of inkjet printers that 
used pigmented inks: the B9180 - a 177A3+ printer using eight pigmented 
inks, the HP DesignJet Z3100 line and then the Z2100 line. The latter two 
lines were available as a 24-inch and as a 44-inch version. All these lines use 
the same type of pigmented inks, but while the Z3100 line uses 12 inks, the 
B9180 and Z2100 lines only use eight Vivera pigment inks. The B9180 (and 
since 2008 also the PhotoSmart Pro B8850) and the Z2100 have only two 
different dilutions of black inks (full Black and Light Black, here called 
Photo Gray). Thus, for printing black-and-white fine art prints, the Z3100 
had a real advantage. Additionally, the Z3100 is equipped with an integrated 
full-fledged spectrophotometer (coming from X-Rite) that allows you pro- 
file papers for the printer. 

In 2007 Hewlett Packard added an additional fine art printer 
line, the HP DesignJet Z6100 line, available as a 42-inch and a 
64-inch model. Like the Z2100, the Z6100 uses only eight pig- 
mented Vivera inks. In 2008, HP replaced the Z3100 with the 
improved Z3200 model. 
There are a number of Hahnemuehle fine art papers co-branded 
by Hewlett Packard (e.g., Hahnemuehle Smooth Fine Art Paper 265 
and 310, Watercolor Paper, or Textured Fine Art Paper 265 and 310). The 
advantage of using these papers is that either Hewlett Packard or 
Hahnemuehle will provide good generic ICC profiles for them and that 
you will find these papers in your driver's media list. 

All of the HP fine art printers mentioned on the following pages 
either have an integrated densitometer, allowing you to re -calibrate your 
printer (this is even true for the entry-level B9180 and the very new B8850), 
or they have an integrated spectrophotometer that can be used to create 
custom profiles. You will find such a spectrophotometer built into the HP 
DesignJet Z3100, the Z3200 (introduced in 2008), and the Z6100. 

Though this spectrophotometer can only be used to profile a paper for 
the specific HP printer, the set is much cheaper than buying a separate pro- 
file kit (e.g., the X-Rite EyeOne Photo kit). 

With all the HP fine art printers mentioned here, the user can quite 
easily replace the print head if its quality declines. Though a head is not 
cheap, it's reasonably priced (e.g., about $60 per head for the Z3100). 

As with other fine art printers using pigment-based inks, you should 
not use swellable paper (those HP recommend for its dye-based printers). 

There are also some printers in Hewlett Packard's printer lines, like the 
DesignJet 90 and 130 and 8750, which can provide very fine prints and even 
a high longevity and lightfastness when used with good swellable papers," 
however, since the pigment-based printer are available, we would very much 
recommend you to use the pigment-based versions. For pigmented inks, 
however, swellable papers are not a good choice. 

Downloaded from: 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 


HP PhotoSmart Pro B9180 

Introduced in 2006 

Inks: The printer uses 8 pigmented inks (HP Vivera pigment), 

but only 7 for a single print. It switches automati- 
cally between Photo Black and Matte Black, depend- 
ing on the paper setting: 

Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black (Photo Gray), 
Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light Magenta, Yellow 

There is no Gloss Optimizer used with this 

Ink sets: 8 single inks (27 ml each). 

Printing Technology: 4 thermal print heads (2 colors each) 
Up to 4800 x 1200 dpi. 
Print heads can be replaced by the user. 

Print Width and Paper Specs: 13 inch (13 x 19 inch cut- sheet) 
1.5 mm maximum 

Paper feed: Sheet feed (2 paper trays), optional roll feeder 

Interface: USB-2 (HiSpeed), optional LAN (Ethernet 10/iooBase-TX). 

Drivers: Standard drivers are provided for Windows XP and Vista as 
well as Mac OS X. There is an advanced black-and-white mode 
in the driver and a Photoshop plug- in to perform a direct 
printing from Photoshop without going via the printer driver. 

Special features: The printer has a densitometer that allows you to detect 
clogged nozzles and to re-calibrate the printer. 

This is a very nice entry-level printer for advanced amateurs and passionate 
hobbyists. The print results are quite good for color prints and are reason- 
able for black-and-white prints, however not as good as the prints using a 11 
color Z3100 (which has three dilutions of black instead of only two). 

For the PMA 2007, Hewlett Packard introduced the B8850, a 13-inch 
printer using the same ink set as the B9180. The B8850 is a slightly modified 
B9180 printer, having no network port, and LEDs instead of the LCD panel. 
The maximum paper thickness is 0.7mm with this printer. 

Figure A-34: HP Photosmart Pro B9180 (Courtesy Hewlett Packard) 

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Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

Printing with the Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart Pro B9180 

The installation is not complicated and takes about an hour. This sounds 
long but during this time the B9180 auto-aligns the heads and also calibrates 
the printer (this is unique in this class of printers, we think this is a color 

Figure A-35: HP PhotoSmart Pro B9180 



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Printer Impressions 

► Very solid build quality 

► Clean form (nice design) 

► Single sheet feeding excellent (best in its class) 

► Printing via network included 

► Lower price than the same kind of pigment printers from 
the competition 

► Print speed good even at maximum resolution 

Printing from Photoshop 

Printing from Photoshop can be done in two ways: 

► Standard driver of the operating system 

► HP PhotoSmart Pro print plug- in (see below) 

When you do a color print by going through the 
standard Photoshop print dialog, the setup in the 
printer driver should roughly look as shown in 
figure A-36, where you let Photoshop do the color 
management. The printer driver settings in Mac 
OS X look like the one demonstrated in figure A-37. 
Naturally, you may have to select a different paper 
and accordingly a different profile in Photoshop. 

Figure A-36: Normal Photoshop print dialog that we use for color prints 

Figure A-37: 

Driver setup for color prints 

(color-managed by Photoshop) 

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Downloaded from: 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 


Black-and-White Printing Using the Driver 

The B9180 also provides a black-and-white only mode, here 
called Grayscale (see figure A-38). In this case, in Photoshop's 
color management settings you select Let Printer Determine 
Color, otherwise the driver won't allow you to select the 
Grayscale mode. 


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Figure A-39: There are two options for Grayscale with the B9180 printer driver 

There are two options for grayscale images (see figure A-39): Gray inks only 
presents a more neutral rendering, while Composite Gray according to our 
experience results in prints that show some metamerism. 

Note: On glossy media we experienced some banding in dark areas if using 
the Gray inks only option even on original HP papers. However, using >HP 
Premium Satin Photo Papers we achieved very fine results. 

On real matte papers (not the slightly glossy semi-matte type of paper) we 
would only use Gray inks only mode. Because there is no advanced black- 
and-white option provided in the HP driver, allowing you to fine-tune the 
black-and-white print (as the Epson drivers described do), we needed to use 
the Photoshop Transfer Curves to get better blacks: 

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Figure A-40: 

Sample Transfer Curve in Photoshop that we 

use in Photoshop to achieve better blacks. 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

Figure A- 41: 
HP PhotoSmart Pro Print Plug-in 

HP PhotoSmart Pro print Plug-in 

The B9180 software comes with a Photoshop Automation plug-in to ease 
printing. If you use other applications, however, you will have to use the 
normal driver. 

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What is so special about this Photoshop plug-in? Printing from Photoshop 
is no real pleasure. You have at least three dialogs to synchronize to get a 
proper print: 

► Photoshop Print dialog 

► Print Size dialog (Page Setup tab) 

► Driver dialog 

If something does not match, you waste time, ink, and paper (and may even 
spill inks in the printer). The new HP Photoshop Automation plug-in is a 
one- stop printer control. In principle this plug-in is way easier to use than 
Photoshop using the normal driver. However, we would like to see some 
improvements for the plug-in: 

► The plug-in does not allow you to control all parameters that can be set 
in the driver (e.g., the different black-and-white modes) 

► We couldn't find a way to add custom paper sizes. 

► There is no feature to save more than one preset per printer. 

Downloaded from: 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 


Setting up for Third-Party Papers 

We like the way that HP allows you to add new papers to 
the driver and plug- in. This is done using the HP Printer 
Utility (see figure A- 42). There, clicking on Add will 
bring up the dialog demonstrated in figure A- 43. 

HP Printer Utility 

Add Custom Paper 

Please provide the information about the paper you want to add. 


Cjstom Paper Name: MS Matte Paper] 

Paper Category: Photo 
ICC Profile (optional): 

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Figure A-42: Add Custom Paper in HP Printer Utility 

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Figure A-43: Dialog to odd a paper to the media list of the B9180 driver 

Add Custom Paper 
Please provide the infori 

Custom Paper Name 

Paper Category / Plain paper 
ICC Profile (optional) 

Figure A-44: Select Paper type 

Use the Paper Category menu of this dialog to select the 
proper paper type (see figure A-44) and use a descriptive 
name for your custom paper. 

Once the paper size is loaded, you can select the 
paper format in the driver. So far, we have used the Paper 
Category Photo for all glossy papers, and the Category 
Photo Rag for really matte papers. In our opinion, it would be helpful if HP 
would provide additional paper types like these two and some more like:" 

► Glossy (high gloss) 

► Satin, Luster, Semigloss 

► Matte papers (e.g., like Epson Enhanced Matte or Inkjet Art Matte 

The key issue here is to optimize the printer/paper combination as much as 


Coated inkjet 
Photo rag 

Rigid Photo rag 
Rigid watercolor 
Rigid Canvas 


<no profile selected> 

* Meanwhile, HP did just that (see 
description on page 263). Fhis also 
the B9180. 

works for 

Ink Consumption 

As of now we have made about 200 prints (mainly 6" x 9" inch prints on 
letter sized paper but also some A3-sized paper). Light Gray is used up most, 
but all other colors are still on the first cartridge. 

Note: The system will give you warnings concerning low ink very early (we 
got the last warning for light gray already at 39% of the cartridge). But don't 
get worried by these warnings (except for getting some replacement inks). You 
can often print still many more prints without any problem. We recommend 
waiting until the ink is really empty and the B9180 asks you to switch inks. 

Downloaded from: 

252 Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

Some Speed Tests 

From LightZone, we printed at 600 ppi a 6" x 9" on letter-sized paper. We 
did not measure the time the application spent rendering the file or the time 
the operating system held the file in the system queue. 

► Using Quality set to Best: 20 seconds feeding from cassette, 2:25 min- 
utes total print time 

► Printing with Quality set to at Maximum dpi: 20 seconds feeding from 
cassette, 3:05 minutes total print time 

Print Quality 

Here are some observations: 

► The generic profiles that come with the printer for HP's papers are very 

► In most cases Quality set to Best is all you need. If you have larger con- 
tinuous tone area, using Maximum dpi (this is the highest Quality set- 
ting available) printing may give you a slight edge. 

► Color images on matte and glossy are very good. 

► The prints show excellent detail. 

► Black-and-white prints on matte papers look nice using the Gray inks 
only option. (To optimize your results read our note about the Photoshop 
Transfer Curves on page 249.) 

► Black-and-white prints on a luster or soft gloss paper show some minor 
bronzing and can show either minor banding (visible only on larger 
uniform dark areas; we are very picky here) using Gray inks only or 
slight metamerism if we use Composite Gray. 


We keep the printer powered on all the time. If powered on, the B9180 
performs regular head cleaning cycles. We did not experience any clogging 
so far. 

Media Choice 

► The HP glossy media (we very much like the HP Advanced Soft-Gloss 
Photo Paper) is an excellent match because all printer settings are opti- 
mized for these papers (there are many parameters that come into play 
to get an optimal paper, ink and printer match). We are not that happy 
with the HP logo on the back of these papers (e.g., distracting for open 
portfolios and binders). But for this printer, there are many more media 

Downloaded from: 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 


► For third-party papers you have to do your own tests. The B9180 
worked fine on some papers but we did not have particularly great 
results with the Innova Fiba Gloss paper (which prints very well on the 
Epson R2400 / Pro 4800 and also with our Canon iPFsooo or iPF6ioo). 
We are in contact with HP to check for this. You have to understand 
that it is hard for a printer manufacturer to be compatible with all 
papers on the market and the B9180 seems to be picky with some of 

► For third party glossy and satin media we recommend you use the 
paper settings for HP Advanced Photo Paper Gloss paper. Third party 
matte papers are better adapted using the Photo Rag settings. 


With color photos, the B9180 produces very good quality prints on both 
matte and glossy papers. Black-and-white printing on matte papers is best 
done using the Gray inks only mode. For black-and-white prints on glossy 
media we recommend you avoid using the Gray inks only mode because of 
some minor banding, visible on larger uniform dark areas. 

You should only use micro porous papers for the B9180 and no swellable 
media. HP Premium and Premium Plus papers are swellable media (there- 
fore, not the right choice), while HP Advanced papers are micro porous 
(this is the right paper). Be careful, because the paper boxes look very much 

All in all, the HP B9180 is a solid 137A3+ fine art printer at an attractive 
price point. 

Figure A-45: 
We achieved some very 
fine color prints with the 
HP B9i8o, e.g., using the 
HP Premium Plus Satin. 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

HP DesignJet Z3200 Photo 

Introduced in 2008, the Z3200 replaces the Inks: 
earlier Z3100 model. 

There is no Cyan in this ink set. HP argues 

that this could be omitted by adding Red, 

Blue and Green. 

Ink sets: 

The 44-inch model uses 130ml cartridges. 

These printers use 11 pigment inks (HP Vivera) and optionally 
a gloss optimizer. It switches automatically between Photo 
Black and Matte Black, depending on the paper settings. With 
some matte media, Photo Black as will as Matte Black is used: 
Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black (Gray), Light Light Black 
(Light Gray), Magenta, Light Magenta, Light Cyan/ Yellow, 
Chroma Red, Green, Blue, Gloss Enhancer 

11 separate inks (69 ml each), plus Gloss Enhancer (69 ml). 
The 44 inch printer uses 130 ml cartridges." 

Printing Technology: 6 thermal print heads (for 2 colors each). 

Droplet size is 4 pi (lc, lm, lg, pK, E, G) or 6 pi (M, Y, mK, CR, 

GN, B). 

The maximum print resolution is 2400 x 1200 dpi. 

Print heads can be replaced by the user. 

Print Width and Paper Specs: The printer allows for different maximum 
print width: 

Z3100 24-in: 24 inch (up to 1.5 mm) 
Z3100 44-in: 44 inch (up to 1.5 mm) 

Both printers support borderless prints using cut- 
sheet paper. A minimum 5 mm border is necessary 
if you are using matte media. The minimum print 
size is US letter. 

Paper feed: Sheet feed, roll feed, automatic cutter 

Figure A-46: HP DesignJet Z3200 (24 " version) 
(Courtesy Hewlett Packard Germany) 

Interface: USB -2 (Hi- speed) + LAN interface (Ethernet 

Drivers: Standard drivers are provided for Windows 2000/ 
XP/ Vista as well as Mac OS X (PPC and Intel). The printer offers 
two dedicated versions of Grayscale printing and a Photoshop 

Special features: This printer contains a spectrophotometer 
that allows the production of ICC profiles for a specific paper. 
The software for this is part of the printer kit. The profile can be 
exported and used as a normal profile - e.g. for soft proofing in 
Photoshop. Optionally, PostScript + PDF 1.6 can be supported. 
The Z3200 s ICC profiling features are a great improvement on 
those found in the earlier Z3100. 

Downloaded from: 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 


Printing With the HP DesignJet Z3100 

At Photokina 2006, the new HP DesignJet Z2100 and Z3100 printers were 
big news, and HP showed them everywhere. We have had the Z3100 printer 
for about 1 month in our studio and can share first impressions. What is so 
important about this new HP printer? 

► It is the first large format printer from HP that uses pigmented inks, and 
is in direct competition to equivalent printers by Epson (7800/9800) 
and now also Canon (iPFsooo, iPF8ooo). 

► It features a built-in X-Rite Eye-One spectrophotometer The 
printer can calibrate and profile papers using this spectropho- 

► It uses 12 colors, adding Red, Green and Blue to provide a larger 
gamut. We will only look into the claim of "larger gamut" when 
we find pictures of friends and clients that need a larger gamut 
(compared to the gamut of the 8/9 inks used, for instance, by the 
Epson printers). Our own images are not very saturated, and we 
are printing more and more black-and-white or muted colors. 

► It has four blacks (Photo Black and Matte Black are loaded 
simultaneously, as with the Canon iPFsooo). 

► A Gloss Enhancer is used to avoid bronzing and gloss differential. 

► The printer uses clog-prevention technologies. 

► There are very high permanence ratings from Wilhelm Imaging 
Research (> 200 years). We take all these data with some grain of salt 
but it still proves that today's printer manufacturers pay a lot of atten- 
tion to longevity. 

-> A detailed review of the HPZ3100 can be 
found on the Luminous Landscape website: 
prin ters/ tml 

Figure A-47: The second print produced by our 
new Z3100 printer 

Some Data 

The Z3100 uses 12 inks (as described on page 254) and has six replaceable 
print heads for two colors each. The heads have 1,056 nozzles per color. 
Where is the Cyan? The HP engineers felt that they could create the needed 
color from the other colors because they also have Red, Green and Blue 
inks. It also has Gloss Enhancer, which can be considered to be a kind of 
fully transparent ink that is used to fill gaps in light areas to avoid bronzing 
and gloss differentials. It is used only when printing on glossy and semi- 
glossy photo media. 

How many blacks are used during printing? On matte papers all four 
black and gray inks are used. As we understand, the Matte Black is just a 
coarser version of the Photo Black. On glossy and semi-glossy photo media 
papers, the Matte Black is not used because the coarser pigments would not 
hold onto the micro-fine pores of the usual microporous papers. 

^ The handling of the Z3200 is very 
similar to that of the Z3ioo, and most of the 
information provided here is transferable 
between the two models. 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

Figure A-48: Printer Panel of the Z3100 

jk r ... ~ hb^h r~~ '•■ \ r * 

Figure A-49: This is 6 out of the 12 ink 

See section 3.11 at page 80 for a description 
on this test image. 

What about Dmax? • HP claims to have achieved a Dmax of 2.43 on HP 
Premium Instant Dry Gloss Paper (with Photo Black) and a Dmax of 1.77 
on HP Hahnemuehle Smooth Fine Art Paper (with Photo and Matte Black 
inks). A friend of ours measured some test targets and got about the same 

Note: We are very impressed with the deep black we get on HP Hahnemuehle 
Smooth Fine Art Paper. For some others and us, the blacks look richer than 
the numbers seem to tell (Dmax 1.77). 

Assembly • The Z3100 44-inch is a really big printer. A single person can 
actually assemble the whole printer (upside down) and it needs only one or 
two extra people to turn the printer over. We found all steps well docu- 
mented and easy to perform. The printer looks robust and comes with a 
very usable integrated basket. 

Initializing the printer • The initialization of the printer following the 
clear instructions worked without a glitch. During the installation the printer 
guides you with the help of its excellent LCD panel (see figure A-48). 

► Install all 12 ink cartridges (see figure A-49) 

► Install six print heads, each for two inks 

► Printer prepares and initializes the 12 inks and six heads. This can take 
30-40 minutes; during this time you can install the software. 

► Feed the roll of glossy test paper that comes with the printer 

► Now the printer performs an automatic head alignment. 

Installation of the Software • While the printer was preparing the inks 
and heads, we installed the Software. 

During software setup you will be asked how you plan to connect the 
printer (both options are standard): via USB 2.0 (Highspeed) or via Net- 
work (Ethernet). We use mainly USB 2.0 for our main workstation but have 
also other PCs connected via Ethernet. 

First prints • Our first print was our usual test image." The next print (still 
with the short sample roll of glossy paper) was a 30-inch wide print (see the 
image in figure A- 61 on page 261 and the printer photo in figure A-47). This 
print, lying on the table in our studio at Plotter Pros, caught the eye of quite 
a few visitors who liked it. So far nobody has found any sort of bronzing on 
this print. 

Paper Calibration 

The HP Z3100 uses the built-in EyeOne spectrophotometer to linearize the 
printer. Each paper has to be calibrated (also after switching heads or maybe 
even inks). Calibration is a very painless process and needs only one sheet 
of paper (Letter size will be large enough). 

Downloaded from: 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 


Here are the steps the utility will guide you through: 

1. Printing the Target (see figure A-50 and figure 

2. Give the print about five minutes drying time. HP 
claims that a drying time of about 5 minutes is good 
enough for most instant dry media. We are not sure 
that this is sufficient, but we also don't see any prob- 
lems so far. 

HP Dwltftf I31QQ 441A Fhdlb 

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■3»*m-siiiin a i M ii i m i 

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Figure A-50: First step to calibrate your Z3100 for a new paper 

Figure A-51: HP recommends to let the test print dry for five minutes. 

3. In the final step the utility will install the profiles (in the printer as well 
as in your operating system). 

HP P*4ot*1 Z3 10044«i Photo 
CflttMl* ¥«* FlHiT - Slip 3 Of 3 

RHP ti^fcn , . p HH W &nhw ctpJ 

f/gi/re /A-52: /\ sample calibration chart (fits on 
Letter-sized paper) 

Figure A-53: 

This dialog shows paper calibration 

status and date 

The printer holds all the calibration data and even color profiles. The system 
to add third-party papers is very open. The user can create new paper types 
that will be shown on the printer and in the printer driver. 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

Figure A-54: 
Profiling process 

Paper Profiling 

For supported HP papers we only calibrate the paper and, right now, use the 
generic profiles. But if you want to use third-party papers you need to cali- 
brate and profile these papers: 

1. First you create a new paper type using the "Color Center" application 

2. Then you can calibrate and profile the paper (takes about 30 minutes 
including drying time) 

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Note: HP claims that they get good profiles out of these 460 patches. 
Time will tell whether these are enough patches or it we may need more 
(as we understand the Advanced Color Management package supports 
larger targets as well). So far, we have found the results very pleasing. 

Note: For profiling you need at least A3-sized paper. If you profile 
paper from a roll the Z3100 will try to make use of the whole width 
(using landscape mode) and save you paper. 

3. The final profiles are available for Windows and Mac OS X, and on 
the printer. They can also be downloaded from other PC or Mac 

We profiled a few papers and preferred this process in comparison to 
using other profiling packages. You should also keep in mind that 
profiling, which is based on reading strips using a hand-held spectro- 
photometer, is very error-prone compared to this fully automatic pro- 

Figure A-55: The target used for profiling consists 
of about 460 patches. 

Downloaded from: 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 


The Z3100 Printer Driver 

Here are the main settings for your prints: 

► Paper size 

► Paper source (it is better not to use Automatic) 

► Paper Type has to match the paper selected by the 
printer. You also find here your own installed cus- 
tom papers) 

► Quality settings (extra dialog) 

► Setting for the Gloss Enhancer (glossy and semi- 
glossy media only) 

► Orientation 

Color Settings 



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f/'gi/re A-56: Dialog for setting Paper and print Quality 

Figure A-57: 

Use Application Managed Colors for color 

management (working from Photoshop) 

The printer driver also offers an Advanced Lightness and Gray Balance 
Adjustments dialog (figure A-58). 



1 « 1 u 1 

Figure A-58: 

Advanced settings for black-and-white prints 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 

So far we have printed black-and-white (actually, toned black-and-white 
images that are still in RGB mode) as color images and used application 
managed color control in Photoshop. We only mention this mode in case 
you want to experiment. 

Note: Some users may want to use this mode to get very neutral prints. We, 
on the other hand, think that we want our black-and-white prints to have 
subtle tones and don't want to be dependent on the tone denned by the 
printer. Of course you can add your own toning here in the driver but this 
also involves a lot of testing (trial and error style). 

ki m 

»-*»«*«■ ^ jj ** i 


Figure A-59: Prin ting Shortcuts 

Figure A-60: 

Tab with the Printer Services for theZ3ioo. 

Services ore grayed out here because we 

captured the screen while the printer was 


Printing Shortcuts 

As with other printers, we recommend you create your 
own printing shortcut (print settings) for each paper 
and quality setting. For this, HP provides a really big tab 
(see figure A-59). 

Print Services Utilities 

The key services are Status of My Printer and Color 
Center (Papers, Calibration and profiling). 


I I.J, 1.1,1,1, .J,' 




1 * 1 *"* 1 ** 1 

Feeding Paper 

You either feed from the roll or use the single sheet feed tray (one sheet at a 
time as we recommend with all large format printers when using fine art 

Most of the time we use single sheets. We don't recommend the "Easy 
Paper Feed" method as you may end up more often with skewed paper. The 

Downloaded from: 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 


Z3100 checks for precise paper feed and does not tolerate skewed paper. 
Perhaps, in the future, you will have an option for the printer to be more 

For paper feeding you have to specify to the printer what kind of feed 
(roll or single sheet) and which paper type you intend to use. Again, your 
own custom papers will also show up on the printer panel. 

Actual Printing 

With this printer we used quite a bit of satin papers but have recently mainly 
used HP Hahnemuehle Smooth Fine Art Paper and Hahnemuehle Photo 
Rag 310 gsm. Both papers deliver outstanding results. In the past we only 
used matte papers. Then, lately, with other printers, we were struggling 
between satin and fine art papers. Now, with the Z3100, we are clearly in to 
using mainly fine art papers. 

Figure A-61: Fhis was Uwe's second print coming outoftheZ3ioo. Fhe print looked really excellent. 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix A Some Fine Art Printers 


We really like the Z3100. Prints using matte fine art papers are excellent and 
also the glossy prints are impressive. 

Note: We don't compare printers by sharpness (very difficult because it 
depends on so many factors) and also not that much by gamut charts (they 
probably are impressive for the Z3100). We look at prints and check whether 
they make us proud to present to customers. By customers we mean people 
who enjoy our photos and not people who can only look at prints with a 
loupe (of course we do that ourselves once in a while for some more critical 
inspection). We don't say this is right or wrong. This is just our personal 

There are quite a few features that speak for the HP Z3100: 

► There is a Gloss Enhancer if we want to print on glossy media (HP 
exclusive right now, Epson on consumer printers R1800/800) 

► The printer features four dilutions of black (featured by HP, Canon and 
with ink switching also Epson) 

► The Z3100 provides a built-in spectrophotometer 

► Clogging prevention. So far we haven't had any clogs on either the 
Z3100 or our PhotoSmart Pro B9180 after about 300 prints on each 
printer. Both printers use the same head technology. (HP and Canon 
lead here and we hope Epson is catching up.) 

* You can download the HP paper dealing 

with the zebra stripes issue at: 


HP's technical paper on how to obtain 

saturated reds with theZyoo can be found at: 



Some More Experiences 

After we had some zebra marks (ink smearing) when printing on thick 
papers, we turned to HP's support. A technical paper from HP helped us to 
solve this problem. 

Note: Actually the Z3100 allows third-party paper manufacturers to even 
control the printer on a much finer level via so called media profiles (not to 
be confused with ICC profiles!). We don't think the creation of media pro- 
files is something a normal user should bother with. 

If you understand the above principles then you won't have problems to 
understand the HP technical paper "Zebra marks (ink smearing) on thick 
papers" which you can download (see sidebar).* 

There have been some hot debates about the Z3100 lacking in print satu- 
rated reds. In the sidebar you will find the URL of the HP paper answering 

-* The saturated reds issue has been resolved for the Z3200 by replacing 
the original red ink with Chroma Red. 

Downloaded from: 

A.4 HP's Fine Art Printers 


We switched printing for the Z3100 from the PC to our Mac. To our sur- 
prise, at first, we did not get to printing if we were feeding 13" x 19" papers 
in landscape mode. (We would actually recommend feeding the paper in 
portrait mode because that way the paper has more support when leaving 
the printer.) There is no really intuitive solution to the problem, but fortu- 
nately there is a quite simple trick. In the sidebar is the URL for the HP 
technical paper with clear instructions (created by HP based on our feed- 
back). It works very well for us using Photoshop or Lightroom for print- 

Hewlett Packard also released a new firmware update for the Z3100, which 
you may find at their support website: 

This firmware brings along new media presets: 

► Fine Art Media Pearl: This allows you to print on thick fine art paper 
with "pearl" coating/finishing. This new paper preset retains the car- 
riage in the upper position but with slightly higher ink limits (not as 
high as Gloss but higher than other fine art papers) and also allows you 
the usage of Gloss Enhancer with the fine art papers (again, not as much 
quantity as in a glossy paper, but enough to get the benefit of gloss uni- 

► Glossy Paper High Ink Capacity: This preset is recommended when 
more gamut is needed on glossy paper. (Be aware, however, that the 
paper needs to be able to absorb the amount of ink. If not, you may have 
paper crashes that can damage your printer or problems with ink dry- 
ing and ink migration.) 

With these two presets, you have more flexibility when working with third- 
party media. 

In the technical newsletter "Working with Custom Paper", you will 
find a complete list of papers and their associated settings, so you know 
what settings you really need to select at the time when you "Create & 
Install ICC profile" from HP Color Center. 

We have to applaud HP for creating the document "Working with 
Custom Paper". As far as we know, this is the first time a printer manufac- 
turer has documented which printer settings affect certain paper selections 
involve. We would like to see such documents from all the other printer 
manufacturers too. 

^ Most of the problems we had with the Z3100 are fixed in the newer 
Z3200. We therefore advise you to look for Z3200 model in preference 
to the older Z3100 if you are shopping for a refurbished HP printer. 

HP's technical paper dealing with the 
landscape mode feeding problem can be 
found at: 
pio46/pdfs/Z3ioo_i 3x1 9 Jandsc_OS_X.pdf 

HP's technical paper "Working with Custom 

Paper" can be found at: 

h ttps://ti4 1186. www4.hp. com/hpp/Da to/ 



Downloaded from: 

Downloaded from: 

Camera: Nikon D200 

Papers for Fine Art Printing 

In this appendix we describe a number of inkjet papers for 
fine art prints that we have tested and liked. Naturally, this 
is a very subjective decision. As mentioned in chapter 2, 
there is no single paper that suites all printing conditions 
and all subjects. The "right" media for a print very much 
depends on: 

- the image, the scene, and its specific subject, 

- the intended use of the print, 

- the light it will be viewed in, 

- the kind of presentation and framing, 

- whether the print is in color or in black-and-white, 

- and, finally, your very personal taste and preferences. 

So use this chapter for background information and as a 
suggestion, not as the absolute truth. 

Which papers you prefer may well depend on the printers 
you use (or those your print service offers) and whether you 
have an adequate profile for your printer, ink, and paper. 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix B: Papers for Fine Art Printing 

B.I Digital Fine Art Papers 

-> For the first test of a paper, the free 

profiles provided either by the printer or 

paper manufacturer are good enough when 

using one of the fine art printers mentioned 

in chapter 5 and this appendix A. They will 

probably achieve about 90-95% of the 

maximum quality that any print can deliver. 

Only when you want to go beyond this is it 

worth producing your own profile or ordering 

one from a profiling service. 

There are many different types of fine art papers available. Here, we only list 
papers that we have some experience with. Papers are classified according 
to their surface and make: 

► Matte papers 

► Matte fine art papers 

► Satin/glossy coated rag papers (a new, emerging category) 

► Satin papers with a very soft gloss finish 

► Luster/pearl papers 

► High-gloss papers 

► Specialty papers and canvas 

As mentioned before, the easy way to work with papers is to use a paper 
offered by the printer manufacturer. Epson as well as Hewlett Packard and 
Canon all offer a number of really fine papers; some of these papers are co- 
branded with paper manufacturers like Hahnemuehle or InteliCoat (previ- 
ously Crane). The advantage with these papers is that you will find the 
matching media type in the media list of your printer driver. A fitting paper/ 
printer profile is in most cases either part of the printer package or may be 
downloaded from the website of the printer manufacturer. 

But sticking to these papers will restrict you, and there are some very 
fine third-party papers that may better suite your taste, your subject or 
your budget. For most of the fine art printers mentioned in this book you 
will find reasonably good profiles at the website of the paper manufac- 

This is true, for example, for third-party papers from Arches Infinity 
[88], InteliCoat/Museo [89], FujiFilm [90], Hahnemuehle [90], Harman 
[94], Ilford [95], Innova Art [99], Moab [105], Pictorico [107], Sihl [112], or 
Tecco [114] - just to name a few. All of these manufacturers produce really 
fine papers for fine art prints. But not all of them sell their papers directly 
to the end customers. You may have to go to your local dealer or an online 

Additionally, you may also find profiles at the website of some online 
shops selling fine art papers like Mediastreet [103], Inkjet-Mall [98], or 
Inkjet Art Solutions [97] (again, there are many more). 

You should not only download such profiles (or create your own), but 
also have a look at the print recommendation these manufacturers provide 
for their media. They will usually name an equivalent media that should be 
selected from the media list of the printer driver, tell you whether Black 
Point Compensation should be activated or deactivated when using their 
profile (with some papers), and inform you which Rendering Intent should 
be used and whether you should use Photo Black or Matte Black (though 
some HP printers can use both types of black in a single print). Even when 
producing your own profile, these hints can help. 

Downloaded from: 

B.1 Digital Fine Art Papers 


For most photographers it will probably be useful to use two groups of ink- 
jet papers: 

A. A good, but reasonably cheap paper. This is used for your test prints, to 
see if your colors are right and the sharpness is OK, and to inspect the 
print for any deficiencies. This paper can also be used to pass the print 
on to an outside party - e.g., a customer, to see which of the pictures he 
or she might choose for a project, or to a printer as a color proof* A 
Semigloss or Luster paper might be a good choice for this purpose, as 
these papers have a rich gamut. In order to pass on photos to an adver- 
tising or model agency, a high-gloss paper might still be better. 

B. A small number of high-quality fine art papers that you will use for your 
high-quality fine art prints. These papers will probably be more expen- 
sive than those for normal use, and they should be handled very care- 

* The standard (Premium) Semigloss 
and Glossy papers offered by the printer 
manufacturer (Canon, Epson, HP) are usually 
a good choice for this pupose. 

Some Notes on OBAs 

We have been struggling for quite a while about how to talk about and judge 
the existence of OBAs (Optical Brightening Agents) . It is certain that: 

► OBAs fade over a period of time, especially under UV light. 

► Not all papers with OBAs fade at the same rate/* 

► "Bright White" papers, allowing high contrast, need OBAs. 

► OBAs can be applied to the coating or the paper (or both). 

► Some papers use more OBAs than others, and it can be hard to judge the 
amount of OBAs just by the whiteness. The amount of OBAs might also 
vary slightly from one batch to the next to compensate for variations in 
the base materials. 

Some time ago we received a press release by Hahnemuehle USA on this 
issue. What we write here is our own opinion, not influenced by this press 
release, but we do believe the press release is not that far off the mark. Here 
are some quotes from this press release that we would like to comment on. 

"OBAs are white or colorless compounds that work by converting ultravio- 
let light into visible light, thereby making the paper appear brighter or 
whiter. They do not change the color of the paper; they only fool the eye into 
seeing a whiter color. After being exposed to UV rays for a long period of 
time, OBAs will begin to lose their fluorescent quality, leaving only the 
natural base color." 

This seems to be an accurate description of what OBAs are and what they 
do. Because they all probably fade faster than the papers fade (yellow), in the 
long run it is better to use papers without OBAs. But there is a big if: If you 
want to accept the natural slightly yellow color of papers without any OBAs. 
This is a purely artistic and pragmatic decision. 

** Based on our own tests and tests by other 

See also the "Library of Congress Standard for 
Permanent Paper" at: 

Downloaded from: 


Appendix B: Papers for Fine Art Printing 

* "Yellow" in this context means that 

the paper looks relatively more yellow (or 

warmer) when the OBAs have disappeared 

compared to the paper with OBAs still 

present. This is an entirely different effect than 

the yellowing of the paper substrate itself 

"So the claim that OBAs cause paper to yellow or reduce its permanence is 
simply wrong. Eventually, the perceived color of the paper will revert to the 
same base color as papers without; but initially OBAs allow a much brighter 
base. It is not yet known how long the reversion to natural might take. We 
do know that it is not an immediate thing; it could take as many as 50 years 
(even longer if the artist takes measures to protect the image from the effects 
of UV rays.) But the point to remember is that the paper will end up the 
same color as it would have had if OBAs had not been used." 

This is a point that only scientists can verify. The question is whether there 
are side effects of OBAs besides just fading away over time. 

"Consider that virtually all silver halide papers used in darkroom photogra- 
phy contained OBAs. Artists who wanted a bright white base simply accepted 
the fact that there would be a slight change over a long period of time. In 
fact, many photographers and collectors find this mature look desirable. At 
Hahnemuehle, we strongly feel that to provide the paper base color and 
print color where the artist wants it for their lifetime is better than having it 
wrong from the beginning." 

We have always suspected that classic silver halide papers also contained 
quite a few OBAs. In the art world this seems to be accepted. The real ques- 
tion is how fast papers with OBA will yellow* and how bad photos will look 
once they get back to the natural base color of the papers. 

There are two further problems with OBAs: 

A. As a general rule, we have found non-OBA papers to exhibit far smaller 
(and less objectionable) changes in hue going from one light condition 
to another, e.g., from daylight to tungsten or to fluorescent. 

B. To a certain extent, OBAs interfere with the creation of color profiles, 
partly fooling the spectrophotometer. Therefore, some devices are 
equipped with an UV filter (causing other problems). X-Rite's Eye-One 
Match and ProfileMaker printer profiling software tries to recognize 
OBAs (from some reflectance behavior) and correct the profile accord- 
ingly (as well as possible). 

** See also George Barfs comment at: 



If you find that natural papers without OBAs work for your images, then 
this would be a safe bet. Otherwise live with the fact that your papers will 
yellow over time (and some seem to do so faster than others). You as the 
photographer have the choice of using papers with or without OBAs - there 
is no silver bullet. 

We find the press release by Hahnemuehle very helpful because it con- 
tributes to a fairly impartial discussion on OBAs.** See also the discussion 
going on at the open forum at [25]. 

Downloaded from: 

B.1 Digital Fine Art Papers 


How to find out if OBAs are Used in a Paper 

There are several ways to find out if a paper (generally, its top layer) contains 
optical brightening agents: 

A. If you are lucky the manufacturer will tell you the papers's specifica- 
tions. But usually they will only inform you when there are no OBAs in 
a specific paper. 

B. If the paper name contains "bright white", probably quite a few OBAs 
are used for the production. 

C. You can compare the paper color to that of a reliable white reference 
containing no OBAs.* If your paper is whiter than this reference, it prob- 
ably contains OBAs. 

D. If a lot of OBAs are used, you can detect a fluorescence effect under 
black light. 

E. Do a reflectance measurement. For this you need a good spectropho- 
tometer and an application like BabelColor [62]. 

Since 2007, we have use method E on new papers we test. You will find the 
reflectance diagrams of those papers in Uwe's Digital Paper Directory [25] 
and diagrams of some papers in the rest of this chapter. But what do these 
diagrams show (see figure B-i and figure B-2)? 

Ideally, white paper would reflect 100% of all light falling on it, and it 
would reflect the full spectrum of visible light equally well. In reality, how- 
ever, even white paper will absorb a certain amount of light and will not 
reflect all wavelengths to the same extent. The 
reflectance diagram is a plot of this reflectance 
curve of a specific paper. A reflectance of 100% 
for all colors (wavelengths) contained in white 
light would show up as a straight line close to a 
level of 1.0. Theoretically, reflectance cannot be 
higher than 100% (1.0). Thus, the reflectance 
curve for the spectrum of visible light of a spe- 
cific paper should be close to that 1.0 line, as fig- 
ure B-i demonstrates. 

If, however, the paper contains OBAs, light 
in the UV spectrum will be absorbed by the pa- 
per and the OBAs and parts of this light will be 
re- emitted with a different wavelength, reaching 
into the Blues (420 to 480 nm). This "blue" reflec- 
tance caused by the OBAs will be added to the 
normal blue part of the white light reflectance. A 
reflectance spike above 1.0 in the Blues is there- 
fore a measurable indicator for OBAs (see figure B-2). You will find the 
reflectance diagrams of many fine art papers at [101] . 

* For instance see "How to use a white 

Target to identify UV-enhanced paper" by 


AN-2 How to identify UV-enhanced paper.pdf 

(Yes, there are some blanks in this URL!) 

S Ahs 


Reflectance {0-U 

Figure B-i: This paper - 1 1 ford Galery Gold - shows a very good reflectance curve. 
The curve is almost flat close to a reflectance of 100% (1.0) and no spikes in the 
wavelength of Blue. It obviously uses no optical brightening agents. 

Figure B-2: Paper with a typical curve indicating the presence of lots of OBAs 

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Appendix B: Papers for Fine Art Printing 

B.2 Some Examples of Fine Art Papers 

-> Naturally, what we present here can only 

be a snapshot. You will find regular updates 

in Uwe's "Outback Print Fine Art Paper 



For some of the papers mentioned in the 

following sections, you will also find more 

information in Uwe's essay on how they work 

with some of the printers we tested and how 

certain problems can be avoided. 

Looking around at your local dealer, on the Internet or at a photographic- 
oriented fair, you will find a tremendous number of inkjet papers - probably 
far more than photographic papers ever were. Most are simple inkjet papers 
targeted at the consumer market or produced for office prints. But you will 
also come across a very large number of inkjet papers suited for fine art 
prints, and new fine art papers are appearing on the market almost every 
week. It's really hard to keep on top of them. 

But is there really a need for you to do so? Probably not. If you intend to 
go deeper into this subject, you should take your time to find a small number 
of fine art papers that suite your taste and your needs. Occasionally, it's worth 
having a fresh look around for some new papers, and you may discard (bet- 
ter, stop buying) papers you previously used and take on a new paper. 

Here, we will talk about some of the numerous media out there. We 
will present only a small collection. First of all, we naturally didn't see all 
available papers, and we didn't like all the papers we did see. So, the follow- 
ing sections will deal with only a few papers we tested and liked. This is 
naturally a very subjective selection, strongly influenced by our personal 
taste as well as by the subjects we shoot (we do a lot of landscape and nature 
photography). For instance, we hardly ever use any canvas. So you will not 
find any information on canvas media here. Therefore, use this chapter 
purely for some background information, intended to help you find your 
way through the ocean of papers. It's neither complete nor objective. 

Matte Papers 

Use Matte Black inks for these papers. 

► Epson Enhanced Matte (now called Ultra Premium Presentation 
Paper Matte) • This is a nice, smooth paper that is also relatively inex- 
pensive. Be aware, though, that the strong brighteners used in this paper 
may cause yellowing. This paper is also very thin, and may therefore 
warp more easily than thicker papers. We usually reduce Ink Values a 
bit to avoid this (see description on page 139) and also to prevent mot- 
tling in areas of heavy ink coverage. 

Figure B-3: Reflectance diagram of 
"Hahnemuehle Photo Rag 308" 

Matte Fine Art Papers 

You have to use Matte Black for these papers - at least to achieve the best 

► Hahnemuehle Photo Rag / Satin • These papers are very popular, but 
expensive. Both papers are available in different weights (from 188 gsm 
to 460 gsm). Photo Rag, using some OBAs, is well suited for black-and- 
white prints. You have to watch for scuffing and cotton dust, and you 

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B.2 Some Examples of Fine Art Papers 


should gently clean the paper with a soft brush or compressed air before 
printing/ This paper is also sold (or co-branded) by HP and Canon and 
works well with all the printers mentioned in appendix A - at least 
when using the 188 gsm grammage. When using the 308 grammage 
version, the smaller 137A3+ printers (e.g., the Epson R2400) may need 
some manual help when feeding the paper. 

► Somerset Velvet Photo Enhanced • Very nice paper. One of our 

► Moab Entrada Natural • Excellent, reasonably priced paper. It's avail- 
able in a natural and in a bright white version and has a two-sided coat- 
ing. While the "natural white" version does not use OBAs (see figure 
B-4), the "bright white" version does (figure B-5). 

► Epson Ultra Smooth • Top, natural white 100% cotton paper that is 
also archival. Watch for cotton dust, however. 

► Epson Velvet Fine Art • A 100% cotton rag paper with high archival 

► Museo II • Very fine double-sided paper. 

► Innova Smooth Cotton High White • We used this paper with Epson 
K3-ink printers and the HP Z3100. It had good handling for a cotton 
paper with no OBAs. There is also a "Natural White" version of this 
paper available. Both versions are also good papers for black-and-white 

► Arches • Expensive paper with a very good reputation. We have not 
yet had a chance to test it ourselves, though. 

* This handling should be applied to 
all cotton papers - not only those from 

Figure B-4: Reflectance diagram for the 
"Moab Entrada Fine Art Natural" 









Figure B-5: Reflectance diagram for the 
"Moab Entrada Fine Art Bright White" 







Figure B-6: Reflectance diagram for the 
"Innova Smooth Cotton High White" 

Satin/Glossy Coated Rag Papers 

Use Photo Black ink for these papers. 

► Museo Silver Rag • New 100% cotton fiber-based paper with a gloss 
finish that in its appearance is close to a Baryt paper. Museo Silver Rag 
was one of the first papers to appear in this category. It's a natural white 
paper that uses no or very few OBAs and should be highly archival. 
When printing on the HP Z3100, we use the Gloss Enhancer. 

► Hahnemuehle FineArt Pearl 285 • Like the Museo Silver Rag, this is a 
fine, fiber-based, bright white paper (using OBAs) with luster finish. 
The combination of bright white and luster results in a very rich gamut, 
deep blacks, the reproduction of fine details, high image sharpness and 
a really good Dmax value. Juergen likes this paper and used it for a lot 
of prints (until Hahnemuehle came out with the new FineArt Baryta 

Figure B-7: Reflectance diagram for the 
"Hahnmuehle FineArt Pearl" 

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Appendix B: Papers for Fine Art Printing 


Figure B-8: Reflectance diagram for 
"Epson Premium Semigloss" 

l ™ 


Figure B-g: Reflectance diagram for 
"I ford Qalerie Smooth Pearl" 

Satin or Soft Gloss Papers 

Most of these papers have a slightly plastic feel. This is more of an issue in 
open portfolios than when displayed behind glass. 

► HP Premium Plus Satin • Very nice satin surface. RC paper that is 
available in many popular sizes - sheets as well as rolls. The ICC profile 
is part of the HP B9180 and Z3100 drivers. 

► Epson Premium Semigloss • We like this paper a lot for its smooth 
surface. It's reasonably priced. That's why we often use this RC paper for 
our test and proof prints when using Epson printers. Though the paper 
is quite white, it doesn't seam to contain OBAs (see figure B-8). 

Luster/Pearl Papers 

► Epson Premium Luster • Popular bright white RC paper with good 
Dmax. Some people don't like the surface texture, which is somewhat a 
non-issue when displayed behind glass. Beware of outgassing - let the 
paper dry for quite some time before framing or putting into sleeves. 

► Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl • This is a nice 290 gsm RC paper with 
Ilford profiles for many printers, a rich gamut, a good Dmax, no OBAs, 
but a slight tendency to curl. 

High-Gloss Papers 


Figure B-10: Reflectance diagram for the 

"Epson Premium Glossy" indicating quite a lot 


* For most RC papers you should let the 

paper outgas some time before framing , 

laminating or storing it in sleeves. 

As with the Semigloss and Luster papers, use Photo Black ink for these pa- 

► Epson Premium Glossy • Some bronzing may show with the older 
Epson printers and their inks. This bronzing may largely be reduced by 
using Epson's K3 inks. (We first started testing this paper using the 
2000P with the Pre-K3 inks some years ago.) This RC paper has very 
rich gamut and reproduces fine details. It looks very white. The reflec- 
tance diagram indicates quite a bit of OBAs in this paper. 

Let this paper dry (and do some outgassing) for quite a while before 
framing or putting it into sleeves.* 

► HP Premium Plus Gloss • Very nice glossy paper surface. 

► Pictorico Photo Gallery Hi-Gloss White Film • Very special paper, 
produced by Pictorico [107]. This paper has an ultra-smooth surface 
and also a lot of contrast and depth. It is rated to be highly archival. 

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B.3 A New Generation of Fiber-based and Baryt Papers 


B.3 A New Generation of Fiber-based and Baryt Papers 

Since 2006 a new generation of fine, fiber-based fine art papers has been 
coming onto the market. Innova FibaPrint Gloss, Museo Silver Rag, 
Premiere Art Platinum Rag, and Hahnemuehle FineArt Pearl are early 
examples. The first generation of these papers was matte, semi-matte or 
semi-gloss and had a very fine, smooth surface. These first fiber-based 
papers were suitable for color as well as black-and-white prints, had a rich 
color gamut and a very good Dmax, typically ranging from 2.0 up to 2.5. 

In 2007 a number of paper manufacturers started to offer Baryta 
papers. For traditional gelatin silver prints Baryta papers have been the top 
quality photographic papers, offering a very smooth surface, a rich color 
gamut, and very dark blacks and bright whites. Baryta (barium sulphate) 
achieves a good brightness without using too many optical brighteners.* 
Traditionally, (wet) prints done on Baryta papers where either supplied as 
air dried - resulting in a softer, semi-matte finish - or hot dried, resulting 
in a high-gloss surface with a gloss sheen. As these drying techniques can't 
be applied to digital printed paper, you will find (digital) Baryta papers 
offered with a gloss or semi-gloss surface (e.g., Harman Gloss FB AL), and 
others with a semi-matte or even matte surface (e.g., Harman Matt FB Mp). 
Some of the gloss papers achieve an outstanding Dmax of close to 2.6. 

While the first Baryt papers that came out were mainly semi-gloss and 
white or even bright white, meanwhile most manufacturers have added a 
second line that is matte or semi-matte and is natural or even warm white 
(resulting in a somewhat smaller gamut and a lower Dmax). All these 
papers, used with pigmented inks, should attain very high lightfastness 
and should be highly archival. 

These new papers tend to be more expensive than the standard inkjet 
fine art papers (but well worth their money, according to our opinion). 

Concerning the depth of the blacks, the Dmax value, the details repro- 
duced, and the surface structure, most of the new papers surpassed the 
papers we had seen until then. We tested the following: 

► Harman Inkjet Gloss FB AL • Harman Technology, Ltd [94] is the 
company that carries on the legacy of the classic Ilford B&W papers. 
Their aim is to match the well-known Ilford silver papers. On this 
Baryta fiber-based paper, images look sharper than on any other paper 
we have seen. This means that you need significantly less sharpening for 
output. This 320 gsm paper has a Dmax of 2.3 (using Epson K3 inks with 
an R2400 and Photo Black), a very smooth, semi-gloss surface and is 
quite thick for its grammage.* It contains some OBAs. Using Epson K3 
inks (Photo Black) our black-and-white prints showed hardly any gloss 
difference between printed and plain paper areas. The alumina - that's 
what the AL stands for - in the substrate gives the surface a very slight 
metallic glow, thus adding some depth to the print. 

* Some of these new papers, nevertheless, 
use OBAs, but so do the traditional analog Baryt 



Figure B-11: Reflectance diagram of 
"Harman Inkjet Gloss FBAL" 

* You might have to adapt your printer 
settings for this. 

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Appendix B: Papers for Fine Art Printing 





Figure B-12: Reflectance diagram of 
"Hahnemuehle FineArt Baryta 325" 

Figure B-13: Reflectance diagram of 
"I I ford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk" 

I4 ■*<*"* 

f/'gi/re 8-74: Reflectance diagram of 
"Si hi Professional Photo Baryt 290 Satin 4804" 



Figure 8-75: Reflectance diagram of 
"Tecco Digital Photo BT270 Baryt" 

Figure B-16: Reflectance diagram of 
"Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper" 

Harman also offers two other fiber-based Baryt papers: Inkjet Matt 
FB Mp and Inkjet Matt FB Mp Warmtone. The latter has creamy whites 
and velvety blacks. Due to the matte paper, however, you will achieve 
neither the same Dmax nor the same richness of fine details as with the 
gloss paper. Nevertheless, for some subjects, these are both fine papers. 

All three papers are available in several cut sheet as well as roll sizes. 
We liked the results in our early tests. In the spring of 2008 Harman 
plans to also launch the gloss paper in Warmtone. 

► Hahnemuehle FineArt Baryta 325 • This 325 gsm fiber-based paper 
has a satin finish (this is quite robust for its class), offers a smooth, 
bright white surface (strong OBAs) and a gloss that is a bit stronger than 
that of the Harman Gloss FB AL. A print on a Canon iPF6ioo showed a 
Dmax of 2.55, which is extraordinary. Hahnemuehle [92] provides good 
profiles for some Epson, HP, and Canon printers (but for fewer printers 
than for most other Hahnemuehle fine art papers). 

► Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk • This fiber-based Baryt paper has low 
(or no) OBAs (see figure B-13), and is offered in quite a few formats (8.5" 
x 11", 13" x 19", 17" x 22", in 10 and 50 sheet packages, as well as 17", 24" 
and 44" wide rolls and 40' long). 

Uwe used this paper with an Epson Pro 3800 and in the driver had to 
use Paper Thickness 5 and Platten Gap Wider to avoid head streaks. 
Though this is a very fine paper (according to our taste), it's reasonably 

► Sihl Professional Photo Barite 290 Satin 4804 • Sihl is a European 
company that does the paper coating for a number of other paper man- 
ufacturers (e.g., Hahnemuehle), but also sells its own papers like this 
new Barite 290 Satin. Printing with an Epson R2400 using K3 inks 
(Photo Black), we achieved a Dmax of 2.14. The 290 gsm fiber-based 
paper has a semi-matte, natural white, slightly textured surface and is 
easy to handle. 

► Tecco Digital Photo BT 270 Baryt • In Europe, Tecco [114] is well- 
known for its inkjet papers for digital proofs. Since 2005, this company 
has, been also selling a number of fine art papers. In 2007 they came out 
with several Baryt papers; the first was the Digital Photo BT 279 Baryt. 
This 270 gsm paper has a smooth, almost untextured surface, is very 
reasonably priced, and is available in a number of cut sheet and roll sizes. 
Tecco followed up the first bright white Baryt paper by another Baryt 
paper with a warm tone: Digital Photo BTI 290 Baryt Ivory. 

► Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper (called Traditional Photo Paper in 

Europe) • This 320 gsm paper is fiber-based (but uses no Baryt), has a 
soft gloss and some texture. This paper is available in 8.5" x 11", 13" x 19", 
17" x 22", and 24" x 30" cut sheets. The paper is thick, which can help 
larger sheets to lie flat. Its character is quite different from that of the 

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B.5 Fine Art Papers Well Suited for Black-and-White Prints 


Harman paper. Some may love its stronger texture, while others will 
prefer the slightly smoother Harman paper. 

► Canon Polished Rag is a new natural white (meaning no brighteners) 
satin-coated rag paper. Uwe likes this paper a lot for its natural look. 

B.4 Specialty Papers and Canvas 

This category compromises the following: 

► All sorts of canvas 

► Rice papers or papers made of bamboo or other exotic fibers 

► Backlit film, clear film, and other transparencies 

► Many more variations 

Depending on your intended usage, you can find some fine media in this 
category, but, personally, we rarely use them. 

Juergen tested the Hahnemuehle Bamboo 290, a paper made from 
90% bamboo fibers and 10% cotton. This is an exotic paper, free of OBAs, 
with a natural warm tone: Q- F° r some subjects, this can be a very suitable 
paper - e.g., for a monochrome (black-and-white) print of flowers or plants, 
a photo of a forest or a jungle; but it can also give a distinguished look to a 
portrait, the image of a mountain or a still life image. 

Using the proper inks and doing proper post-processing, you can also 
print on fabric and even on wood and metal. But as we have no personal 
experience in this field, we refrain from discussing these media. 







Figure B-17: Reflectance diagram for the 
"Hahnemuehle Bamboo 290". 

B.5 Fine Art Papers Well Suited for Black-and-White Prints 

Here, we only list papers we know and consider to be good: 
Matte Fine Art Papers for Black-and-White Prints 

► Hahnemuehle Photo Rag*/ Satin • A very popular but somewhat 
expensive paper; you have to watch out for scuffing and cotton dust. 
Photo Rag is available in a number of different grammages (188 gsm, 
276 gsm dual-sided coated, 308 gsm, and 460 gsm) as well as in different 
sheet and roll sizes. 

► Somerset Velvet Photo Enhanced • A very nice paper that is one of 
our favorites. 

► Moab Entrada Fine Art Natural • Excellent, reasonably priced paper 
(see the reflectance diagram in figure B-4). 

► Epson Ultra Smooth • A top paper that is also archival. Watch for 
cotton dust, however. 

* Don't forget to brush the dust off this paper 
before inserting it into your printer! 

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Appendix B: Papers for Fine Art Printing 

this German manfacturer: "Hahnemuehle" 

and "Hahnemuhle". The latter is the German 

way of spelling. 

Satin or Soft Gloss Papers 

Most of these papers have a slightly plastic feel. This is more of an issue in 
open portfolios than behind glass. 

There are two ways to spell the name of ► Hahnemuehle Photo Rag Pearl • This paper came out in 2006. Like 

the Museo Silver Rag, it tries to emulate the appearance of a Baryt paper. 
It has a very fine, smooth, pearl surface, a rich gamut, a good reproduc- 
tion of fine details, and it is well suited for color as well as for black-and- 
white prints. It contains some OB As. 

► HP Premium Plus Satin • Very nice satin surface. 

► Epson Premium Semigloss • Comes close to the Epson Premium 
Semi Matte paper; this paper may not be quite as nice as the Premium 
Semi Matte but Premium Semigloss is reasonably priced. 

► Mueso Silver Rag • A very fine paper for black-and-white prints. We 
really like it. This fiber-based paper comes close to some good Baryt 

With the increasing demand for fine art inkjet papers more papers of this 
type have been coming to the market since 2006, e.g., Premiere Art Platinum 
Rag or Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper. 

As mentioned before, all of the Baryta and fine fiber-based papers we 
enumerated on page 273 to 274 are very well suited for black-and-white 
prints. Actually, since we have tested these Baryt papers, we hardly use any 

High Gloss Papers 

► HP Premium Plus Gloss • Very nice glossy paper surface. 

► Pictorico Photo Gallery Hi-Gloss White Film • Very special paper, 
which has an ultra smooth surface and also a lot of contrast and depth. 
It is rated to be highly archival. 

We'd like to recommend Clayton Jones' article "The Great Paper Chase" 
[47] as another good source of knowledge about papers for black-and- 
white printing. 

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B.5 Fine Art Papers Well Suited for Black-and-White Prints 


A Note on Paper Grammage and Paper Thickness 

Though the grammage and the thickness of a paper seem directly connected, 
be aware that two papers having the same grammage (e.g., 310 gsm) may 
have quite a different thickness, and additionally may have a noticeable dif- 
ferent stiffness. All these factors have to be considered when selecting a 
suitable paper for a specific print. If you intend to use a paper with a high 
grammage, which usually adds significance, make sure that your printer is 
able to feed the paper and doesn't smear the print. 

While for a small print a lower grammage and lesser stiffness is accept- 
able, for a large print a high stiffness is very desirable as this ensures that 
the print will lie or hang flat. In the specification of a paper you will hardly 
find any data on its stiffness. If, however, your printer does not provide a 
straight through paper path, you might have problems with a stiff paper. 

Figure B-18: 

Fry the new Boryt papers for your black-and- 
white print. Here, we converted the color 
image to black and white (using a Black & 
White adjustment layer of Photoshop CS3) and 
then slightly reduced the layer opacity to let 
the original color shine through a bit), 

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Camera: Nikon D100 

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Glossary and Acronyms 


absolute colorimetric • See rendering intent. 

ACR • see Adobe Camera Raw - the RAW converter of 
Adobe Photoshop and Bridge. 

ACE • Adobe Color Engine is a color conversion tool cre- 
ated by Adobe, which is used to convert images from 
one color space to another. 

Adobe RGB (1998) • A color space defined by Adobe. It 
is well- suited for digital photographs and has a reason- 
ably wide gamut, larger than sRGB, and includes most 
printable colors. 

artifacts (or artefacts) • An undesirable effect visible 
when an image is printed or displayed, such as moire 
patterns, banding or compression artifacts. Compression 
artifacts (JPEG artifacts) may result from too severe 
JPEG compression. Also over- sharpening may produce 

banding • Noticeable tonal level jumps in an area, where 
a continuous tone level would normally be. Banding is 
one type of artifact. 

black point • The density (or color) of the darkest black 
a device may reproduce. Black levels beyond that are 
clipped to the black point. 

black point compensation • An option in your 
Photoshop color space conversion dialog (e.g., in your 
print dialog). When this option is activated, Photoshop 
will try to compensate for different black points when 
mapping one color gamut (color space) to another. 
Usually, you should activate this option. If, however, the 
supplier of an ICC profile recommends otherwise, fol- 
low his advice. 

bronzing • Some inks (usually black inks) have a reflec- 
tive property that results in a slightly bronze appearance 

under certain lighting conditions. This should not be 
confused with metamerism. 

calibration • Adjusting the behavior of a device to a pre- 
defined state. Calibration, in many cases, is the first step 
when profiling a device. 

caliper • refers to the thickness of a sheet of paper 
expressed in thousandth of an inch. 

camera RAW format • See RAW. 

candela • Unit of measurement for luminosity. Lumi- 
nosity is specified in candela per square meter (cd/m 2 ). 

cd • See candela. 

CF • Compact Flash - a type of data storage used in 
memory cards for digital cameras. 

CIE • Commission Internationale de VEclairage. This is the 
international scientific organization which defined the 
CIE Lab standard. 

CIE Lab • See Lab. 

characterization • See profiling. 

CMM • Color Matching Module - the internal color 
engine of a color management system. It does the color 
translation from different (source) color spaces to the 
PCS {Profile Connection Space), and from the PCS to the 
output color space. Well known CMMs are Apples 
ColorSync for the Mac and Microsoft's ICM as an inte- 
gral part of Windows. Adobe provides its own CMM 
module with applications, such as Photoshop and 
InDesign. It is called ACE (Adobe Color Engine). 

CMS • Color Management System. 

CMYK • A color model based on the four primary print- 
ing colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black (Black is also 

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Appendix C 

called the key color, thus K). Used in print production, 
they form a subtractive color model. Though many ink- 
jet printers use CMYK inks (and often more additional 
colors), they, in fact, present an RGB interface to the 

CRT • Cathode Ray Tube - a component in monitors 
incorporating glass tubes for display. 

clipping • The loss of certain tonal values usually found 
in the color or tonal limits of a color space. Clipping 
occurs, for example, when converting images from 
16 -bit-mode to 8-bit or when converting from RGB to 
CMYK. In these cases, usually some saturated colors are 
clipped to become less saturated colors. 

color gamut • See gamut. 

colorimeter • An instrument used to measure the color 
of emitted light. Often, one is used while profiling mon- 

color model • The way colors are described by numbers. 
RGB, for example, uses a triple, denoting the amount of 
red, green and blue. CMYK uses a quadruple for the per- 
centage of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. There exist 
other colors models, such as Lab, HSM, Grayscale (a 
gray value) or Bitmap (with pixel values of o or 1, white 
or black, respectively). 

color space • A range of colors available for a particular 
profile or color model. When an image resides in a par- 
ticular color space, this limits the range of colors avail- 
able to that image. It also defines how the color values of 
an image are to be interpreted. There are device-depen- 
dent color spaces (e.g., those of a scanner or printer) and 
device-independent color spaces (e.g., Lab, Adobe RGB 

ColorSync • Apple's implementation of ICC-based color 
management (part of Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X). 

color wheel • A circular diagram that 
displays the available color spectrum 
(at a particular brightness level). 

or yellowish light, higher temperatures result in a bluish 
tint. The term "temperature" stems from a blackbody 
radiator emitting (white) light when heated to a specific 
color temperature; for example: 

color temperature • A measure on 
the spectrum of the wavelength of 
white (light). The unit used is Kelvin (K). 
Lower color temperatures correspond to a red 

candle light, fire 


-1800 K 



-2700 K 

halogen lamp 

3400 K 


4100 K 

D50 daylight illuminant 

5000 K 

sunny and blue sky 


D65 daylight illuminant 

6500 K 


6500 K 

cloudy sky 



neon light 


-9000 K 

sunny mountain snow 

up to 16 000 K 

1" Z Z I"? 

— r ~ ~t'~ 

J 1 ~ 


z tl 







chroma • The technical term for saturation. 

curves • A tool in Photo- 
shop that allows control 
(change) of tonal values in 
an image. The curve dia- 
gram below represents the 
relationship between input 
and output. By modifying 
this curve, corresponding 
tonal values of the pixels 
in the image are changed. 

CSi, CS2, CS3 • Adobe Creative Suite 1, 2, or 3. There are 
several different variations of these suites (e.g, Standard, 
Premium, Master Collection, ...). All suites include 
Photoshop, Bridge, and Version Cue; the inclusion of 
other applications like InDesign, Acrobat, Illustrator, 
Flash, or Dream Weaver depends on the specific suite 
you buy. 

D50 • Daylight at 5,000 Kelvin. This is the standard light 
{illuminance) in the printing industry (prepress) for 
evaluating colored prints. 

D65 • Daylight at 6,500 Kelvin. This is the standard {illu- 
minance) that is closer to the light emitted by CRT or 
LCD monitors. 

device profile • See ICC profile. 

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Glossary and Acronyms 


dithering • A technique used to simulate many different 
colors and/or halftones yet utilizing only a few primary 
colors by placing dots in a certain pattern. Viewed from 
an appropriate distance, the image is perceived as a 
continuous-tone image. 

Dmax • specifies the maximum of a density range of a 
scanner, a slide or a print. Density range is the difference 
in density between the lightest and the darkest areas of 
an image. The Dmax of the paper and print technology 
used in this book is about 1.6. Some fine art papers can 
achieve a Dmax of up to 2.7. A high-end film scanner 
may achieve a Dmax of up to 4.2. 

dot gain • Halftone dots grow slightly in size when 
printed (e.g., due to ink spreading). This is called dot 
gain. Coated paper has a dot gain of 8-20 %, while with 
uncoated paper it may grow up to 28%. Photoshop may 
take dot gain into account when producing output for 
printers by reducing a dot size appropriately to compen- 
sate for its future dot gain. 

DPR • Display Permanence Rating - the time period a 
print should last before a noticeable fading of the image 
occurs. For comparable figures, it is important to know 
under what conditions this measurement was taken. 

dpi, DPI • dots per inch. Used as a measurement of print 
resolution with regard to ink or toner dots per inch on 
paper or printing plates. Most printing techniques (e.g., 
inkjet printers or offset presses) simulate a halftone 
value or a non-primary color of a pixel, using a pattern 
of tiny dots. With such printing techniques, the dpi 
value of a printing device must be considerably higher 
(by a factor of four to eight) than the ppi (pixel per inch) 
value of the image. 

ECI • European Color Initiative. This organization 
defines standardized means to exchange colors (color 
images) on the basis of ICC profiles. You may find some 
specific color profiles on their Web site (see wwweci. 

ECI-RGB • An RGB work space for those images des- 
tined for prepress work in Europe. Its gamut is some- 
what wider (slightly more green tints) than that of Adobe 
RGB (1998) and also covers nearly all colors intended to 
be printed. 

EPS • Encapsulated PostScript. A standard file format, 
usually including vector graphics or a mix of vector 
graphics and bitmap images. Often, EPS files contain 
both the actual graphic information and, additionally, a 
preview image. 

EV • Exposure Value. 

Exif, EXIF • A standardized format for camera meta- 
data (e.g., camera model, exposure value, focal length, 
etc.). These data are usually embedded in the image file 
and may be used for searching or by applications to act 
in an intelligent way on the data; for example, PTLens 
uses the focal-length value from EXIF data to correct 
lens distortions. 

Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) • defines how 
metadata is stored within images. Because it is "exten- 
sible", users can add to it. The most common use of XMP 
is to include information about the image that is added 
by the use of Photoshop or similar programs and stored 
within the image file itself. Common metadata that is 
added include the elements found in the Dublin Core 
Schema. IPTC has developed a set of custom panels that 
can be downloaded for XMP to store IPTC data through 
the use of Photoshop CS. Photoshop CS2 and CS3 has 
these IPTC panels built in. 

Firewire • (IEEE 1394) a fast, serial interface for card- 
readers, digital cameras, scanners and other peripheral 
devices. Firewire allows for transfer rates of up to 
40 MB/s (1394a) or 100 MB/s (1394b). 

gamma • (1) Relationship between tonal values (or input 
voltage with a monitor) and perceived brightness. There 
are two gamma values in broad use: 

(A) 1.8, the Apple standard for the Mac and preferred in 
prepress work. 

(B) 2.2, the Windows standard. For photographs, we 
recommend using 2.2, (even on Apple systems) for 
monitor calibration and profiling. 

(2) The degree to which a color space or device is non- 
linear in tonal behavior. 

gamut • The total range of colors (and densities) a device 
can reproduce (e.g., a monitor or printer) or capture 
(e.g., a scanner or digital camera). Color gamut is the 
range of colors a device can reproduce (or capture) and 

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Appendix C 

dynamic range refers to the brightness levels a device 
can produce or capture. 

gamut mapping • The way colors are remapped when an 
image is converted from one color space to another. If 
the destination space is smaller than the source space, 
color compression or color clipping occurs. 

gray balanced • A color space is called gray balanced if 
equal values of the primary colors result in a neutral gray 
value. This situation is preferable for work spaces. 

gsm • gram per square meter (g/m 2 ) - a measurement 
(grammage) for the paper weight. 

halo • This is the glow around an object caused by the 
diffusion of light. This problem is increased when an 
uncoated lens is used, when a lens surface is dirty, and 
when the subject is backlit. Halos are created by the 
unsharp masking filter in Photoshop as a way to increase 
the contrast of edges and make the image appear to be 

HDR(I) • refers to High Dynamic Range Imaging. 

highlights • Areas of an image with no color or gray 
level at all. 

histogram • A visual 
representation of tonal 
levels in an image. With 
color images, it is ad- 
vantageous not only to 
see luminance levels 
but also tonal levels of 
each individual color 

HSB, HSL • Adaptations of the RGB color model. Colors 
are described by a hue, saturation of the hue, and light- 
ness (HSL) or brightness (HSB). 

hue • Hue is normally referred to as color tint. 

ICC • International Color Consortium. A consortium of 
companies that develop industry-wide standards for 
color management - e.g., ICC profiles. For more infor- 
mation, see 

ICC profile • A standardized data format to describe the 
color behavior of a specific device. ICC profiles are the 

1 \m r\ 

1 VB/l 


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basis of color management systems. They allow CM sys- 
tems to maintain consistent color impression across dif- 
ferent devices, different platforms and throughout a 
complete color- managed workflow. 

ICM • Image Color Management or Integrated Color 
Management - the Microsoft implementation of the 
color management module in Windows. 

IEEE 1394 • See FireWire. 

IPTC • International Press Telecommunication Council. 
In photography, IPTC is a metadata format that describes 
the image. It provides fields, e.g., for copyright notices, 
rights usage terms, a title (caption), and keywords. 

intent • See rendering intent. 

IT-8 • A family of standard targets used by profiling 
devices, such as scanners or digital cameras. 

JPEG • Joint Photographic Experts Group. This ISO group 
defines a file-format standard for color images. The 
JPEG format uses lossy compression, offering various 
trade-offs between high quality (at lower compression) 
and lower quality that results in a higher compression 
but smaller files. 

Lab, LAB, L*a*b*, CIE Lab • A perceptual- based color 
model defined by the CIE. Colors in this model are 
defined by L (Luminance) and two color components, a 
and b. "a" (or "A") is the axis ranging from red to green 
while "b" (or "B") ranges from blue to yellow. 

LCD • Liquid Crystal Display. A display technique used 
for flat-panel monitors (TFT monitors). 

LFP • Large Format Printer. 

Lossless compression • is a data compression technique 
in which no data is lost in the compression. The original 
image can be exactly reproduced from the compressed 
version. For image compression, TIFF-LZW, TIFF-ZIP, 
and PNG are two formats of lossless compression. 

lpi, LPI • lines per inch. The measure used to define 
printing resolution (or screen frequency) with typical 
halftone printing methods, such as offset printing. 

luminance • Amount of light (energy) emitted by a light 
source, e.g. by a monitor. The unit used with monitors is 
candela per square meter (cd/m 2 ). 

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Glossary and Acronyms 


lux (lx) • Unit for measuring the illumination (illumi- 
nance) of a surface. 1 lux = 1 lumen/m 2 , 1 lux = 0.093 foot 

LZW • is the abbreviation for Lempel-Ziv -Welch, a loss- 
less data compression technique. 

metadata • Data that describe other data objects. EXIF 
and IPTC data are examples of metadata as part of digi- 
tal photographs. 

metamerism • The phenomenon that two color samples 
composed of a different mix of primary colors may look 
the same (produce the same color sensation to a viewer) 
with some lighting and may produce different color sen- 
sations when viewed under a different lighting. 

mil • Measurement of thickness, especially in paper. 1 
mil = 1/1000 inch = 0.0254 mm. 

OBA • Optical Brightening Agents (also called Optical 
Brighteners) are additives to paper which achieve better 
brightness and whiteness of the paper. 

P.A.T. • Photographic Activity Test, a testing standard 
(ANSI NAPM IT9.16-1993, ISO 14523-1999, DIN ISO 
9706) for material in archiving and preservation. 
Material with a certificate to be PAT-compliant should 
show a good longevity and should be well suited for 
archival and museum usage. 

PCS • Profile Connection Space. This is an intermediate 
color space used when converting colors from a source 
space to a destination space (say, from one profile to 
another). According to the ICC specification, it can be 
either CIE Lab or CIE XYZ. 

perceptual intent • See rendering intent. 

ppi, PPI • pixel per inch, used to specify the resolution of 
a digital image. See also dpi. 

primary colors • Those colors of a color model used to 
construct the colors of the pixels. For RGB, the primary 
colors are red, green and blue. CMYK primaries are 
cyan, magenta, yellow and black. 

profile • See ICC profile. 

profiling • The act of creating a device profile. Usually a 
two-step process, whereby the first step is to linearize 
the device. The second step measures color behavior of 

the device and describes it with an ICC profile. The 
entire process is also called characterization. 

PS • Photoshop. 

PSD • stands for Photoshop Document format. It is the 
native format for Adobe Photoshop software. 

RAW (camera RAW format) • Image data coming from 
a digital camera that mainly consists of the raw data read 
from the camera sensor and not yet processed and with 
no color interpolation (demosaicing). Today, almost all 
RAW image files use a proprietary format, specific to the 
camera manufacturer and even the camera model. This 
raw data has to be converted by a RAW converter to be 
used in an image application such as Photoshop or to be 

RC • resin coated paper, used for photographic prints in 
the wet darkroom, as well as for inkjet prints. 

relative colorimetric • See rendering intent. 

rendering intent • A strategy to achieve color space 
mapping when converting colors from a source to a des- 
tination color space. ICC has defined four different stan- 
dard intents: 

(1) Perceptual compresses colors of the source space to 
the gamut of the destination space (where the source 
space is larger than the destination space). This intent is 
recommended for photographs. 

(2) Relative colorimetric does a 1:1 mapping when the 
colors in the source space are all present in the destina- 
tion space. Out-of-gamut colors of the source are 
mapped (clipped) to the nearest neighbor of the destina- 
tion space. This intent may be used for photographs if 
most of the colors in the source space are available in the 
destination space. In this instance, most colors of the 
source are mapped 1:1 into the destination. The white 
point of the source space is mapped to the white point of 
the destination space, as well. 

(3) Absolute colorimetric does a 1:1 mapping when col- 
ors in the source space are present in the destination 
space. Out-of-gamut colors of the source are mapped 
(clipped) to the nearest neighbor of the destination 
space. The white point of the source is maintained. This 
intent is used (only) when soft-proofing. 

(4) Saturation. This intent aims to maintain saturation 
of a source color, even when the actual color has shifted 

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Appendix C 

during mapping. This intent may be used when mapping 
logos and diagrams, but is not suitable for photo- 

resolution • This term defines the depth of detail an 
image can reproduce. Resolution is measured in dots 
per inch (dpi) or pixels per inch (ppi). 

RGB • Red, Green, Blue. These are the primary colors of 
the standard additive color model. Keep your photo- 
graphs in RGB mode as long as possible, and use RGB 
for archiving your images. 

RH • Relative Humidity, expressed as a percentage. 

RIP • Raster Image Processor. A module, either part of a 
printer or a software application. The RIP converts page 
information into a raster image or dot pattern for print- 

saturation • (1) defines the purity of color. Saturation 

may vary from none (which is gray) via pastel colors 

(some saturation) to pure colors (full saturation) with 

no gray. 

(2) One of the four rendering intents. See rendering 


spectrophotometer • An instrument to measure the 
color of emitted and reflected light. It usually is used 
when profiling printers and measuring the color (light 
spectrum) of a print or other surface. 

soft-proof • Usage of the monitor as a proofing device. 
For soft-proofing, Photoshop simulates colors an image 
will have with a different output method (e.g., a print) 
on a monitor. 

sRGB • A standard color space for monitors. It is intended 
for images presented on monitors or on the Web. 

swellable paper • A kind of coated paper used for dye- 
based inks. Here, when the moist ink hits the paper, the 
paper swells up and lets the ink sink in (only into the top 
layer). When drying, the paper again closes up and 
encapsulates the ink particles. 

tagged images 


Images with an embedded color pro- 

image formats and allows several different compression 
modes, most of them lossless (e.g., LZW, ZIP, Runlength 
encoding, uncompressed). It allows storing different 
color depths (from 1 to 32 bits per channel), embedded 
comments, profiles, and other metadata, as well as layers 
and alpha channels. It is well suited as an archival format 
for images. 

USB • Universal Serial Bus. A computer device interface 
for peripherals, such as card readers, cameras, scanners 
and external hard disks. There are two versions of the 
USB bus, where USB -2 (high speed) is much faster (up to 
60 MB/s) than USB-i.x (up to 1.2 MB/s). 

USM • Unsharp Masking. A method of sharpening an 
image by increasing the contrast of its edge pixels. The 
term stems from a traditional film-composing tech- 

vignetting • Vignetting is an effect where some areas of 
a photograph are less illuminated than others. Most 
camera lenses show "optical vignetting" to some degree, 
mostly at the outer edges, but stronger when the aper- 
ture is wide open. "Mechanical vignetting" may occur if 
a lens hood is too narrow or deep, or is not properly 

Slight vignetting 
WB • See white balance. 

Very strong vignetting 

TIFF • Tagged Image File Format. A file format for ima- 
ges. TIFF acts as an envelope format for many different 

wide-gamut RGB • A large color space that covers 
almost all of RGB. There is no physical device that can 
reproduce all color of wide gamut. This color space is 
sometimes used for archival purposes when output will 
be produced for photographic printers or transparent 

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Glossary and Acronyms 


white balance (WB) • Adjusting the color temperature 
and color tints in an image, so that there is no color cast, 
and gray areas show no color tint. 

white point • (1) The color of "pure white" in an image. 
On a monitor, it is the brightest white the monitor can 
display. In photo prints, it usually is defined as the color 
of blank white paper. 

(2) The color of a light source or lighting conditions in 
terms of color temperature. 

(3) The color "white" in a color space; for example, Adobe 
RGB (1998) and sRGB have a white point of 6,500° K 
(D65) while ECI-RGB, Color Match RGB and Wide 
Gamut RGB have a white point of 5,000° K (D50). Most 
CMYK color spaces have a white point of D50. 

white point adaptation • When a color mapping takes 
place and the source and the destination spaces have dif- 
ferent white points, with some intents (e.g., Relative colo- 
rimetric) colors are adapted relative to the new white 

WIR • Wilhelm Imaging Research. This is a well known 
research organization that evaluates the image perma- 
nence ratings of prints on specific papers, using specific 
inks and specific printers. 

working space • A device-independent color space 
(profile). It defines the color gamut available to the image 
using this working space. For photographers, Adobe 
RGB (1998) or ECI-RGB (in Europe) are the recom- 
mended working spaces. 

XMP • stands for Extensible Metadata Platform. See 
Extensible Metadata Platform 

ZIP • is the process of compressing data and storing it in 
a zip file format file. It is also the file extension for that 
file format. The ZIP file can contain one or more docu- 
ments or files. It is used in some cases to combine a 
group of images for electronic transport. 

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Camera: Nikon D200 

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Here you will find all the references cited (with bracketed numbers) 
throughout the chapters. Please keep in mind that some of the URLs given 
here might change or vanish over time. To help us keep this information up 
to date> please let us know if you find a link that no longer works at 

D.I Recommended Books 

[1] Gorge Barr: Take Your Photography to the Next 
Level: From Inspiration to Image. 
Rocky Nook, Santa Barbara, 2008. 

[2] Katrin Eismann: 

Photoshop Masking & Compositing 
Peachpit, 2005. 

[3] Tim Grey: Color Confidence. 

The Digital Photographers Guide to 

Color Management. 

Sybex Inc, San Francisco, 2006. 

[4] Juergen Gulbins, Uwe Steinmueller: 

Managing Your Photographic Workflow with 

Photoshop Lightroom. 

Rocky Nook, Santa Barbara, 2007. 

[5] Bruce Fraser, Ch. Murphy, F. Bunting: Real World 
Color Management. 
Peachpit Press, Berkeley CA, 2004. 

[6] BradHinkel: Color Management in Digital 
Rocky Nook, Santa Barbara, 2006. 

[7] Torsten Andreas Hoffmann: The Art of Black 
and White Photography: Techniques for Creating 
Superb Images in a Digital Workflow. 
Rocky Nook, Santa Barbara, 2008. 

[8] Harald Johnson: Mastering Digital Printing. 
Second Edition. 
Thomson, Boston, 2005. 

[9] Peter Krogh: The DAM Book: Digital Asset 
Management for Photographers. 
O'Reilly, Sebastopol, 2005. 

[10] Andrew Rodney: Color Management for 
Photographers: Hands on Techniques for 
Photoshop Users. 
Focal Press, Burlington, MA, 2005. 

[11] Sascha Steinhoff: Scanning Negatives and Slides. 
Rocky Nook, Santa Barbara, 2007. 

[12] Bettina&Uwe Steinmueller: DOP2000: 
Digital Photography Workflow Handbook: 

[13] Uwe Steinmueller, Juergen Gulbins: 

DOP3002: The Art of RAW Conversion: Optimal 

image quality from Photoshop CS2 and leading 

RAW converters. 

E-book on RAW conversion, using Adobe 

Camera Raw, RawShooter Essentials, and other 

RAW converters: 

[14] Bettina&Uwe Steinmueller: DOP3001: 
Photoshop Layers for Photographers: 

[15] Ben Willmore: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Studio 
Adobe Press, 2007. 

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Appendix D 

D.2 Organizations and Institutes 

D.3 Useful Resources on the Internet 

[16] ECI - European Color Initiative: 

[17] ICC - International Color Consortium: 

[18] IPI - Image Permanence Institute: This institute 
sprang from the Rochester Institute of 
Permanence and does research in digital image 
quality, light stability tests, and on the right con- 
ditions for long-term storage of film materials 
and digital images (e.g., inkjet prints): 

[19] SWOP - Specifications for Web Offset 

This is an industrial organization targeting the 
creation of standards for the Publication 
Printing Industry in the United States. 

[20] Wilhelm Imaging Research Inc (WIR). 

This institute conducts research on stability and 
preservation of traditional and digital color pho- 
tographs and motion pictures. 
See also: 

[21] Henry Wilhelm, Carol Brower: 

The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs: 

Traditional and Digital Color Prints, Color 

Negatives, Slides, and Motion Pictures. 

This is a 758 page e-book (PDF) that you may 

download for free from the WIR Web site: 

[22] WIR: Sub-Zero Cold Storage for the Permanent 
Preservation of Photographs, Motion Picture 
Films, Books, Newspapers, Manuscripts, and 
Historical Artifacts: 

[23] WIR Display Permanence Ratings for Current 
Products in the 4x6-inch Photo Printer Category: 

Remember that World Wide Web addresses may change 
or vanish over time. 

[24] Uwe Steinmueller: Outbackphoto. 

This is Uwe's website, full of up-to-date informa- 
tion on digital photography, including lots of in- 
formative papers on photography: 

[25] B. Digital Outback Photo Open Forum on 
"Fine Art Printing for Photographers": 

[26] FotoEspresso is our free photo -letter with in- 
depth papers on various topics related to digital 
photography. As a subscriber, you will receive an 
e-mail when a new issue is available. You can 
then download the document from: 

There is also a German version of this photo -letter: 

[27] Colors by Nature - some of the color works of 
Bettina&Uwe Steinmueller: 

[28] Uwe Steinmueller: A profile for black-and-white 

[29] Digital Outback Photo: Our Tonality Tuning 
Toolkit (&,&): 

[30] Uwe Steinmueller: Variations Toolkit (♦*, _?) : 

[31] DOP free Photoshop action "Ring around": 

[32] EasyS Sharpening Toolkit (■•/*', _f): 

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[33] DOP_DetailExtractor Toolkit (♦*, _J). 

This is Uwe's cheap, easy to use Photoshop plug- 
in for local contrast enhancement: 

[34] Digital Outback Photo: Paper on sharpening: 

[35] Akvis offers a number of nice Photoshop plug- 
ins, e.g., Noise Buster for noise reduction. 
Personally, we only use Akvis Enhancer for local 
contrast enhancement: 

[36] Alien Skin offers a number of very fine 

Photoshop plug-ins (d^, _!). For example we 
often use filters form the Exposure 2 package e.g., 
to achieve the look of traditional films, or Image 
Doctor for a number of image corrections and 
for retouching (e.g., removing unwanted objects): 

[37] B&W-Ramp: An image with black-and-white 
values to determine the black-point and white- 
point of your printer: 

[38] Digital Outback Photo: Essay on Workflow 
Techniques Using Actions and Filters in Layers: 

[39] Paper on Noise Ninja - a noise-removal tool 

( / ): 


[40] Digital Outback Photo: Essay on printing in- 
pi. html 

[41] Uwe Steinmueller: Printing Insights #027: The 

[42] Uwe Steinmueller: Printing Insights #029: 
Epson R800 Experience Report. A review diary: 

[43] Digital Outback Photo. Paper on noise reduction: 
Digital Photography Essentials #004: "Noise": 

[44] Jack Flesher. Paper Upsizing in Photoshop: 
Workflow Technique #060: 
Uprezzing Digital Images (PC & Mac): 

[45] Alain Briot: The Art of Digital 

B/W #007: Take control of your black & white 
ink) et printing with Inkjet Control: 

[46] Outback Photo: The Art of Digital B&W. 

Here, you'll find a number of papers on black- 
and-white photography (conversion, printing, 

[47] Clayton Jones: Fine Art Black and White Digital 
Printing: An Overview of The Current State Of 
The Art. 

This is a very informative page on black-and- 
white printing: 

[48] Uwe Steinmueller: ThelmagingF actor y\ 
ConvertToBW Pro 3.0: 

[49] Paul Caldwell: Workflow Techniques #092: 
Sizefixer by Fixerlabs. Paper on upsizing using 
Sizefixer (.■/*', &): 

[50] Altostorm Software: Altostorm Rectilinear Pano- 
rama™ (9*) corrects geometric image distortion: 

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Appendix D 

[51] Aian Brios essay on QuickMats (^), a program 
for virtual matting: 

[52] Fine Art Trade Guild. This is the UK trade asso- 
ciation for the art and framing industry. You may 
find some useful hints, standards, and recom- 
mendations on framing of fine art prints here: 

[53] HP: Inkjet Photo Prints: Here to Stay. 

[54] Harald Johnson: DP&I - a digital printing & im- 
aging resource. A very informative site on many 
aspects of digital printing with quite a few how-tos: 

If you want to know more on giclee printing, go to: 

[55] Nik Software offers a nice set of Photoshop plug- 
ins (♦ r , g), e.g., Nik Color Efex Pro - a set of ef- 
fect filters -, Dfine - a tool to reduce noise -, and 
Nik Sharpener Pro for sharpening: 

[56] HDRSoft is well known for its Photomatix Pro 
tools (♦*, j_), used to build HDR images. But it 
also offers a very good tool for tone mapping and 
local contrast enhancement. This tool is called 
Tone Mapping. 

[57] TIFFEN is well known for its camera filters (.V' r , 
_?)> but it also offers a number of software tools 
that simulate filters (and some more effects): 

[58] onOne Software: pxl SmartScale (w*, £§) 

This is a Photoshop plug-in for upsizing. The 
company also sells Genuine Fractals: 

[59] Power Retouche offers several Photoshop plug-ins. 
One we sometimes use for color to black-and- 
white conversion is Black & White Studio (^, _J): 

[60] Giorgio Trucco is a well-known photographer 
and offers Matworks! (j^)as a free PC tool to cal- 
culate matte openings: 

[61] ShutterFreaks "Photoshop Frames for Printing" - 
a set of actions that create frames and mattes in 

Color Management Tools 

[62] BabelColor offers several color oriented prod- 
ucts, e.g., BabelColor (♦*, _?), a very nice and 
reasonable priced tool for measuring color (e.g., 
using Eye- One Pro) for converting and compar- 
ing colors and color gamuts as well as measuring 
Dmax in a print: 

[63] Bruce Lindbloom: Information on Beta RGB. 
You may download the ICC profile of Beta RGB 
here, as well: 

[64] Information on the ColorChecker at BabelColor: 
Here you find a lot of information on the Color- 
Checker of Gretag/X-Rite. This includes aver- 
aged values of the patches of the Mini 

[65] Color Solutions offers a number of good color 
management tools - e.g., basICColor, a package 
for profiling your monitors and printers: 

[66] Cromix is a color- oriented company. One of its 
tools is ColorThink Pro (&, _J) offering many 
functions like profile inspection and correction, 
profile management, and gamut graphing: 

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[6y] Datacolor: Color Management Tools 

(e.g. Spyder3Pro, ProfilerPlus, PrintFIX Pro, etc.) 
(5* ©. These tools were previously sold by 
Color Vision which is now part of Datacolor: 

[68] Dry Creek Photo: A Web site with many useful 
links on color management for photographers, 
various test charts, and hints on how to prepare 
an image for digital photo printing: 

They also have a useful page for monitor calibra- 
tion done without special hardware devices: 

[69] Epson U.S.: Profiles for Epson R2400. 
ICC profiles for the Epson R2400: 

[70] GAIN store: GAIN is a service of the Printing 
Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical 
Foundation (PIA/GATF). 
Their store offers a lot of different photographic 
materials. You may also find the "GATF RHEM 
Light Indicator": 

[71] GTI Graphic Technology Inc: 

[72] Hutcheson Consulting: Good information on 
color management. Go to Free and you will find 
several useful images and test targets. 

[73] Microsoft Color Control Panel (■ i ? r ): 

A small Windows XP utility to install and unin- 
stall ICC profiles, set default profiles for devices 
and for the graphic display of ICC profiles: 

[74] Monaco Systems (now part of X-Rite): 
Color management tools: 

[75] Ott-Lite Technology offers several TrueColor 
daylight lamps, as well as bulbs and tubes: 

[y6] Pantone: Pantone offers color guides and color 
management software. It also sells huey (a kit for 
monitor profiling) (& y _?): 

[yy] SoLux: Offers different lighting solutions for 
"natural" light (close to D50): 

[78] X-Rite: ColorChecker and several profile packag- 
es (e.g. Eye- One Match and Eye- One Photo): 

RIPs, Test Software and Test Images 

[79] Our test image for your printers and monitors: 

[80] Bill Atkinson: Bill's color profile downloads. 
Here, Bill offers a number of very good ICC pro- 
files for some Epson printers and for various pa- 
pers for free. There are also helpful comments on 

[81] Bowhaus is focused on black-and-white printing. 
It offers InkJet Control and OpenPrintMaker 
(RIP software): 

[82] Colorbyte Software: ImagePrint (♦*, ^) is a 

Software RIP for fine art printing coming with a 
large library of profiles. They differentiate light- 
ing under which a print will be displayed: 

[83] ddisoftware, Inc: Qimage - a RIP (j?"), 

and Profile Prism ( 4^) - a profiling software for 
printers, digital cameras, and scanners. They sell 
printer and camera profiles, as well. 

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Appendix D 

[84] EFI: EFI Designer Edition is a RIP (.V' r , ft) sup- 
porting TIFF, JPEG, PostScript and PDF: 

[85] ErgoSoft: ErgoSoft is focused on Large Format 
Printing. The ErgoSoft RIP StudioPrint (.V' r ) is 
mainly for printing photos. Another useful com- 
ponent offered is ColorGPS for a very extensive 
profiling of inkjet printers: 

[86] Roy Harrigton offers QuadToneRIP (♦*, ^), a 
fine RIP dedicated to black-and-white printing: 

[87] Imatest. This is an informative presentation on 
cameras, lenses, scanners, and printers. Imatest is 
also an interesting program (/J*; test version 
available) to evaluate image quality of a picture or 
a print: 
See also the photography page of Norman Koren 
including many technique descriptions: 

Paper, Ink, Coatings and Cutters 

[88] Arches Infinity: This company offers fine art pa- 
pers of various kinds. Here, you also find ICC 
profiles for papers for several Epson and HP 
printers (e.g., Epson R800, R1800, 1280, 2200, 
2400, 4000, 4800, 7600, 9600, HP 5000): 

[89] Crane & CO, now part of InteliCoat Technolo- 
gies and marketed by the name ofMuseo, pro- 
duces a number of fine art products, including 
fine art papers of inkjet printing - e.g., the well 
known Museo Silver Rag: 

[90] FujiFilm sells a number of very nice fine art ink- 
jet papers: 

[91] Glastonbury Design: D-Roller 

[92] Hahnemuehle: A maker of fine art papers of 
various kinds. You also find some ICC profiles 
there for their papers for various fine art printers 
(e.g., Epson): 

[93] Hahnemuehle: A-Z of Paper: 

A good glossary for terms about paper (PDF file): 


[94] Harman Technology Ltd is one of the companies 
that resulted from the decline of Ilford. They pro- 
duce - in our estimate - some of the finest Baryt 
papers for inkjet printing: 

[95] Ilford - now part of Oji - was well known for its 
traditional photo papers. But they also offer digi- 
tal (inkjet) papers: 

[96] inkAID. A precoating to make uncoated papers 
suitable for inkjet printing: 

[97] Inkjet Art Solutions sells inkjet printers, papers 
and inks for these printers: 

[98] Inkjet-Mall: This company offers a rich selection 
of fine art papers and inks: 

[99] Innova Art produces a number of fine art papers 
(including some sorts of canvas). They also offer 

[100] Itoya offers art portfolios: 


Laszalo Pusztai Photography. The following 
website will show the reflectance diagrams of 
many fine art papers: 

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[102] Lyson: Lyson offers third-party inks for a range 
of Epson and HP, as well as some Canon inkjet 
printers, plus inkjet papers. For their inks and 
papers, they provide ICC profiles and descrip- 
tions of how to use them. 

[103] Mediastreet Fineart- an online shop with inks 
and media for fine art printing. They also offer 
the "Niagra Continuous Ink Flow System": 

[104] MIS Associates Inc is an online shop for inkjet 
inks and media: 

[105] Moab: A maker of fine art papers of many kinds. 
You will also find ICC profiles there for their pa- 
pers and different fine art printers 
(e.g., Epson): 

[106] Monochrom - a German supplier of photograph- 
ic material with a good Web site and an even 
better printed catalog (but, printed in German): 

[107] Pictorico Ink Jet Media: The company offers a 
rich selection of fine art papers (including trans- 
parency film): 

[108] Piezography: The company produces several 
special black-and-white inks (e.g., "Piezography 
Neutral K7") which achieve very fine black-and- 
white prints. Inks are sold online by stores like 
Inkjet Mall. 

[109] PixelTrust. This is a precoating product to pre- 
pare uncoated papers for inkjet printing. 
Currently, this is only available in Germany, and 
the page is in German. 

[110] Prat is one of the manufacturers of professional- 
quality presentation materials. Its products are of- 
fered by many online stores: 

[111] Premier Imaging Products offers a number of 
quality digital fine art papers under the label 

[112] Sihl coats the papers of quite a number of paper 
manufacturers to make them usable for inkjet 
printing. Its also sells its own papers: 

[113] Speed-Mat Inc offers several high quality, al- 
though expensive, mat cutters: 

[114] Tecco is a European paper manufacturer which 
originally produced inkjet papers for proofing. 
Nowadays, they also offer a number of fine art 
papers at a very reasonable price: 

[115] Tetenal: A maker of inkjet papers of various 

kinds. Also have ICC profiles for their papers for 
different fine art printers (e.g., Epson): 

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Camera: Nikon D2X 

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4C 8 

absolute colorimetric 63,279,283 

ACE (Adobe Color Engine) 70,279 

ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) 279 

additive color model 53 

additives 32 

Adobe Creative Suite (CS) 280 

Adobe Gamma 65 

Adobe RGB (1 998) 58, 59, 61 , 279, 285 

Akvis Enhancer 125 

albums 219 

alpha cellulose 39 

Apple RGB 58 

artefacts 279 


BabelColor 82,290 
backlit prints 46 
banding 164,279 
baryt papers 273 
base weight 37 
bicubic (sizing) 129 

sharper 130 

smoother 129 
bitmap mode 52 
bitonal 3,54 

color to black-and-white conversion 1 86 

conversion 187 

printing 20, 150 

printing workflow 184 

prints 183 

soft-proofing 196 

with Epson UltraChrome K3 printers 191 
black point 79,80,279 

compensation 85,138,146,279 
Black & White 188 
blending mode 1 15 

Soft Light 116 
BO (Black Only) 196 
borderless printing 140 
brightness 39,91 
bronzing 35,82,87,204,243,279 
bubble-jet 15 
buffered 45 

paper 39 

bulk ink systems 23 
burn 107 

calibration 63,279 

by eye 65 

hardware-based 65 

settings 65 
caliper 40,279 

profile 64 

RAW format 279 
candela 279 

canned profiles 56,72,223 
canvas 46 
cd (candela) 279 
cellulose 38 

CF (Campact Flash card) 279 
CFS (Continuous Flow System) 23 
Channel Mixer 187 
characterization 63,279,283 
chroma 280 
CIE 279 

Lab 53, 64, 279, 282 
CIS (Continuous Ink Flow System) 23 
clipping 280 
CMM 56,279 
CMS 56,279 
CMYK 54, 279, 285 

color model 53 

proofs 168 
coating 33,42,216,292 

microporous coating 41 

paper coating 41 
cobb number 45 
color 52 

calibration (printer) 136 

depth 52 

gamut 280 

index mode 52 

management 55 
in printer driver 153 
policies 70 
settings 158 

settings in Print dialog 138 
system 56 

mode 52,280 

model 280 
additive 53 

CMYK 53 
Grayscale 54 
LAB 53 
RGB 53 
subtractive 53 
primary colors 2, 52 
settings 69 

settings in Photoshop 69 
space 54 
CMYK 285 
mapping 62 
visualization 59 
temperature 280 

to black-and-white conversion 1 86 
tuning 1 1 1 
wheel 280 
working space 57 
ColorChecker 83,291 
Color Control Panel 59,71,78 
colorimeter 65,67,280 
colorimetric 283 
absolute colorimetric intent 63 
relative colorimetric intent 62 
ColorSync 70,152,280 
ColorThink 291 
Commission Internationale de I'Eclairage 

(CIE) 279 
compact flash (CF) 279 
continues flow ink systems 23 
continuous color 2 
continuous flow inkjet 15,16 
contract press-proofs 168 
contrast 91,94 

local contrast enhancement 125 
black-and-white conversion 187 
options 70 
cover page 152 
creative sharpening 130 
CRT 66, 280 
CS3 280 

CS (Adobe Creative Suite) 280 
Curve Creator 175 
curves 280 

S-curves 99 
custom profile 56,73 
cutter 25, 292 

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D50 87,217,280 
D65 65,280 
darkfading 31 
daylight 217 
ddisoftware 169 

thermal degradation 31 
densitometer 25, 46, 224, 237, 238, 246, 

density 45 

gamut 54 

profile 280 
creation 63 
digital fine art papers 49 
digital or analog? xi, 51 
digital print order format (DPOF) 11 
direct digital printing 12 
direct photo printing 12 
display permanence rating 281 
display permanence rating (DPR) 29 
dithering 3 

stochastic dithering 4 
Dmax 36, 45, 82, 1 98, 1 99, 273, 281 
Dmin 198 
dodge 107 

and burn 109 
DOP Up-sizing 129 
dot gain 6, 281 
dots per inch (dpi) 2 
dpi (DPI) 2,281 

DPOF (digital print order format) 11 
DPR (display permanence rating) 29, 281 
D-Roller 48 
droplet size 17 
drying time 163 
dust spots 164 
dye-based inks 34 
dye-sublimation printer 1 1 


EasyS 131 
ECI 281,288 

-RGB 58,70,281,285 
EFI Designer Edition 179 
EOM (Eye-One Match) 66 
EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) 281 
European Color Initiative (ECI) 281 
Euroscale Coated 70 
EV 281 
EXIF 281 

extensible metadata platform (XMP) 281 

Display 65, 66 

Match 66 

Photo 74 
Pro 74,204 

fine art papers 

for black-and-white prints 1 99 
fine art printer 133,221,265 
Firewire 281 
fluorescent light 217 
framing 33, 213 

gamma 65, 96, 281 

gamut 54,281 

mapping 282 

warning 84, 85 
Genuine Fractals 129 
Giclee prints 15 
gloss optimizer 222 
grammage 277,282 
gray balanced 282 
grayscale mode 54 
GretagMacbeth 291 
gsm 282 


halo 282 

hardware-based calibration 65 

head alignment 136 

head cleaning 136 

hexachrome printing 8 

highlights 91,93,282 

highlight recovery 102 
histogram 282 
HSB 54,282 
HSL 54,282 
hue 282 

ICC 282, 288 

profile 56,169,282 
ICM 70,282 
IEEE 1394 281 

image color management (ICM) 282 
image inspection 202 
ImagePrint 87,176,190,194,196 
Imatest 46,292 
index mode 52 
ink 34,292 

bronzing 35 

cartridge volume 223 

continuous flow ink systems 23 

dye-based 34 

limit 45 

numberofinks 18 

pigment-based 34 

reception layer 38 

types of inks 18 
inkAID 42 
inkjet 15 

printing 15 
continuous flow inkjet 16 

receptive layer 38 

technology 15 
intent 62, 282, 283 

absolute colormetric 63 

perceptual 62 

photographic 62 

relative colormetric 62 

saturation 63 
interface (printer interface) 24 
International Press Telecommunication 

Council (IPTC) 282 
I PTC 282 
IRIS printer 15 
ISO Coated 70 
IT-8 282 

JPEG 282 
artefacts 279 


L*a*b* 282 
Lab 282 

color model 53 
laminating 33,216,218 
laser printer 9 
LCD 66, 282 

LFP (Large Format Printer) 223, 282 
light 31 

daylight 217 

fluorescent light 217 

indicator 204 

sunlight 217 

tungsten light 217 

UV 31 
LightJet 14 

printing 12 
lignen 39 
lines per inch 2,4 
local contrast enhancement 125 
lossless compression 282 
Ipi(LPI) 2,4,282 
luminance 65,282 
luminosity 1 14 
LUV 61 
lux 283 
Ix (lux) 283 
LZW (Lepel-Zip-Welsch compression) 283 

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color space 62 
master image 90 
mat cutting 208 
matting 206,212 

faux matting 212 

process 206 

true matting 206 
maximum density 45 
metadata 283 
metamerism 87, 204, 283 
microporous 41 

coating 41 
midtones 91, 92 
mil 283 

ml (milliliter) 223 
Monaco Systems 291 
monitor profile 65 


nozzle clogging 224 

OBA (optical brightening agents) 267, 283 

offset printing 8 

opacity 46 

optical brighteners 40,283 

optical brightening agents 40 

optical brightening agents (OBA) 267 

OSD (online screen display) 67 

overcoats 42 

painting techniques 107 
paper 36, 292 

additives 32 

alpha cellulose paper 39 

base weight 37 

brightness 39 

buffered paper 39,45 

caliper 40 

characteristics 37 

coating 41,42 

color 39 
simulate paper color 85 

handling in printer driver 152 

ingredients 38 

opacity 46 

rag paper 38 

RC paper 42 

size 41,44 

sizes 49 

sizing 43 

sulphite paper 39 

swellable paper 41 

thickness 40,277 

warping 153 

weight 40,282 

whiteness 39 
RAT. (photographic activity test) 283 
PCS (profile connection space) 64, 283 
perceptual 62,146,158,283 

intent 283 

print permanence 28 
photographic activity test (RAT.) 283 
photo print 12 
photo printers 4 
photo printing 12 
PhotoREt 3 

color and monitor profile settings 69 

conversion options 70 
pH-value 45 
Pictorico 272 
Piezo 15 

pigment-based inks 34 
pixels per inch 2 
PixelTrust 42 

print plug-ins 223 
point (printed point) 

portfolio binder 205 
PostScript RIP 25 
ppc 2 

ppi(PPI) 2,283 
precoating 42 

preparations for printing 128 

options 204 
press-proofing 168 
primary colors 2,4,52,283 

color management settings 1 58 

heads 25 

hexachrome printing 8 

paper type 137 

permanence 20, 28 

plug-ins 223 

quality 137,163 

quality setting 137 

resolution 156 
printed point 2 

adjustments 136 

color calibration 136 

connection 134 

costs 22 

color management 153 

save settings 154 

dye-sublimation 1 1 

head alignment 136 

head cleaning 136 

inkjet printer 15 

installation 134 

interface 24 

linearization and calibration 223 

maintenance utilities 154 

native resolution 156 

profile 64,72,135,146 

profiling 73 

thermo-sublimation 11 

unpacking 134 
PrintFIX 74 

Pro 73 
printing 133 

black-and-white 20, 183 

digital photo print 12 

offset printing 8 

preparations for printing 128 

screen printing 19 

silk-screen printing 19 

techniques 2 

using a printing package 169 

workflow 90 

coating 216 

displaying 217 

framing 213 

laminating 216 

matting 206 

protecting from light 218 

storing 219 
Pro 4800 234 
profile 283 

camera profile 64 

canned profile 56,72,223 

custom profile 56, 73 

monitor profile 65 

printer profile 64 

printer profiles 135 

profiling 283 
profile connection space (PCS) 283 

CMYK proofs 168 

contract press-proofs 1 68 
ProPhotoRGB 58,59,61 
ProRes 3 
PS (Photoshop) 283 

Qimage 129, 169 
QuadToneRIP 173,185,190,196 
Quick Mask mode 103 

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rag 38 

raster cell 3 

raster image processor (RIP) 1 67, 284 

rasterization 3 

RAW 283 

RC (resin coated paper) 41 , 42, 48, 283 

reception layer 38 

reflection 39 

relative colorimetric 62, 1 46, 1 58, 283 

rendering intent 57, 1 38, 1 46, 1 58, 283 

perceptual 158 

saturation 158 
resin coated paper (RC) 41 , 42, 283 
resizing 129 
resolution 284 

print resolution 156 
RGB 284 

Adobe RGB (1998) 58,285 

color model 53 

ECI-RGB 58,285 

ProPhotoRGB 58,59 
RH (relative humidity) 29, 284 
Ring Around 120 

RIP (raster image processor) 25, 45, 87, 1 50, 

for black-and-white printing 1 94 

ImagePrint 87 

PostScript 25 
roller marks 163 
rotogravure printing 2 

sanity-check 80 

saturation 283 
intent 63 

screening 169 

screen printing 19 

S-curves 99 

shadow recovery 101 

shadows 91,92 

sharpening 130 
creative sharpening 130 
output-specific 130 

silk-screen printing 19 

simulate black ink 85 

simulate paper color 85 

sizing 42,43 

Smart Sharpen 131 

Soft Light (blending mode) 116 

soft-proofing 63, 1 96, 1 97, 284 

black-and-white prints 196 
spectrophotometer 25, 65, 73, 74, 204, 284 
split toning 195 
spraying/coating 33 
sRGB 13,58,61,284 
stochastic dithering 4 
stochastic pattern 4 
substrate 37 

subtractive color model 53 
sulphite 39 
sulphite paper 39 
sunlight 217 
swellable 41 
swellable paper 41,284 

tagged images 284 

test prints 162 

thermal degradation 31 

thermal inkjets 15 

thermo-sublimation printer 11 

thickness 277 

T-hinge 209 

TIFF 284 


highlights 91 

midtones 91 

regions 91 

shadows 91 

tuning 90 
locally 100 

split toning 195 
topcoats 42 
tungsten light 217 
tuning 90 

colors 1 11 

tonality 90 


unsharpmaskfilter(USM) 131 
upsizing 129 

up-sizing (DOP Up-sizing) 129 
USB 284 

USM(unsharpmaskfilter) 131,284 
UV 31 

variations 1 19, 122 
vignetting 284 


water spots 1 64 

WB (white balance) 285 

white balance (WB) 285 

whiteness 39 

white point 65,79,80,285 

adaption 285 
wide gamut 284 
WiFi 24 

Wilhelm Imaging Research (WIR) 28, 30 
WinColor 71,78 
WIR (Wilhelm Imaging Research) 28, 29, 


for black-and-white prints 1 84 
working space 70,285 

XMP (extensible metadata platform) 285 
X-Rite 73 


ZIP 285 

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